Filipe Pereira and Teresa Silva
Fidgeting at the front of the stage, two performers adjust a projector and play with their laptop. Is this part of the performance we ask ourselves? An initial query that turns out to be the first of many posed by New Creation.
As darkness descends, meta questions are beamed onto screens manipulated by Filipe Pereira and Teresa Silva, whose bodies are threaded through the metal frames. “We’re recording ourselves, are we capturing the present?” Is it a dead present, or a living archive?
Films from rehearsals and past performances are projected, as gauze sheets unravel from the ceiling. Images becoming blurred with each new layer, creating a visual map of the piece’s history.
Twisting and undulating fluidly behind the projections, the performers’ bodies are intermittently submerged by flickering multi-coloured lights. These choreographic sequences are aesthetically pleasing, yet feel incongruous with the show’s meta-theatrical themes.
Dance, by its very nature, is a fleeting pleasure. You can capture it on film but it will never evoke the same feeling as seeing a body move before your eyes. Filipe Pereira and Teresa Silva are determined to try, however, in their aptly titled work, New Creation – so-called because each show features an aspect of the previous one, building an ever-increasing archive.
With their bodies squeezed inside a projection screen, they wheel its metal frame back and forth, ‘catching’ the words thrown onto it. Posing questions about how we capture the past yet live in the present, the dialogue is sharp and funny, aided by their almost slapstick motion.
When they disentangle themselves from the frames, the focus becomes haphazard, with bodies disappearing frustratingly into the darkness. But as screen after screen is lowered, each one depicting a previous performance, our fascination returns.