Thursday, 13 August 2015

DFFUK: REVIEW: Descent: The Essence of Life and Death

Descent – Drew Cox & Antoine Marc
Dance Film Festival UK
O2 Think Big Hub
Saturday 8th August 2015

Thick honey oozes from a man’s mouth, as he begins his gradual descent from life to death. Directors, Drew Cox and Antoine Marc explore themes of terminal illness and family support, which eases the torment of illness.  Overall, Descent is a dazzling work of both choreography and screendance.

Filmed in the iconic room of the feature film The King’s Speech (2010), Cox and Marc’s images are visually stunning. Descent is washed with shades of mustard and teal, which peal off the walls behind the dancers. The thick honey, seeping from the man’s mouth, seems to symbolise the loss of life, but also reveals the essence of life.

Moreover, shot in slow motion, the film captures the dancers in powerful, gravity-defying moments. They propel themselves into the air, displaying their rippling muscles and profound strength. Three men leap, cartwheeling their legs over their heads. Meanwhile a woman performs a moving solo, consuming the space, as she lunges, ripples and then hurls herself through the music.

Sumptuous floorwork and rich shifts of weight are as indulgent as the honey that continues to ooze from the man’s lips. With an emphasis on power and beauty, Marc’s choreography appears at once delicious and compelling.

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