Meeting @ The Battersea Arts Centre (LIFT Festival 2016) Review

Unique in its design and musical structure Meeting takes audiences through the mechanics of contemporary dance at the nationally renowned Battersea Arts Centre. A collection of static movements combined with intricate gadgets (striking pencils on the floor) add a touch of suspense to the space, highlighting Anthony Hamilton’s (head choreographer) artistic vision. A vision he has travelled halfway across the world to share and showcase with British audiences.

Meeting

As with the majority of dance performances there are moments of real power and high energy and others of repetitive motions, leading one to switch off pretty swiftly as a result. A shame as these parts are mostly during the end of the piece when the captivating gadgets and robotic-driven dancers seem to add nothing extra to keep the production fresh throughout. However it is fair to say Hamilton makes a real creative choice in all areas of his choreographic masterpiece and is pushing the boundaries of how we perceive dance today, which is commendable.

A moment of particular triumph prominent halfway through the piece has to be the inclusion of spoken dialogue along with fast moving choreography. Both dancers repeat number patterns and have to use the timing of the electronically controlled ‘pencil gadgets’ (and multi task the dance material) whilst speaking in total unison. Of course catching their breathe and monitoring each others movements make the counting somewhat of a struggle that they deal with professionally. Speaking of course in their distinct and laid back Australian accents, which even the music can’t disguise. The combination of these parts pieced together a refined and abstract style puzzle that fits together nicely. Difficult, comic and stylistically it adds a different layer of excitement unseen in many choreographic productions.

Overall an impressive array and mishmash of dance styles, vocal techniques and creative sound devices interpreting movement in a quirky new fashion. When you think you have seen it all in the dance world, think again! 3.5/5

Review written by Luke Redhead.

Meeting was shown at the Battersea Arts Centre on Tuesday 28th June until Saturday 2nd July as part of this year’s LIFT Festival. To catch on all things LIFT, visit here…

 

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