Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Alicia Kidman returns to Roehampton Dance with new choreographic work

10 May 2016
Roehampton Dance
Footprint Dance Festival
Stepping Stones
Alicia Kidman - Buzz

Roehampton Dance Alumni Alicia Kidman presented her most recent work of contemporary dance at Footprint Dance Festival last week.
Featuring a percussive score by Dominik Told, Kidman constructs a playful comment on the fast paced London lifestyle.

Buzz opens onto a dark stage lit with one bold spotlight. Dancers Sophie Stokes, Emilie Barton, Jennifer Whittaker and Paige Jackson dart through the light. Dressed in plain trouser suits and dark blazers, the women already remind us of the London commute. 

They gradually speed up and begin to murmur a "buzzing" sound.
Interesting moments include an amusing escalator scene. Rapid shuffling movements and long, trailing lines that snake through the space send the dancers into despair. The familiar feeling of frustration at a blocked route or a commuter standing in the way rings true. We all understand their strained expressions.

Buzz is filled with queues, perfect lines and awkward stunted walking. Like our structured public etiquette, the lines and shapes that unfold on stage seem distinctly British. Patiently waiting and too afraid to say anything during your morning journey? The dancers endure one another the same way we quietly endure the man eating a burger at 8am on the Overground to Clapham Junction. Kidman seems to have injected her dancers with a heavy dose of passive aggression and impatience.

Breaking out of these carefully constructed scenes, the dancers spill across the space in a sweeping phrase of unison. As in her previous works, the dancers move and work cohesively. There is an apparent "wholeness" that is just as powerful as the dancers' conviction in their performance.

My only criticism: I wanted more. Would the dancers continue to simply endure one another? How would Kidman's journey end?

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