Always nice to see a funded piece in Resolution festival, nice to know someone out there is funding new work form young artists. The fact that Barely Methodical Troupe had this funding, and presumably rehearsal time as a result, showed. They were slick, smooth and well timed. Bromance boasted lovely interactions between performers and endearing details, around the theme of handshakes and male camaraderie, peppered their athletic displays of virtuosity. Thoroughly enjoyable.
After the opener engaged with themes of modern masculinity, however lightly, the second offering from tonight’s platform claimed to consider feminine identity. All I can say is if that was a display of how women nowadays merge the personal with the cultural, the feminist movement is in even more trouble than I thought. A handful of near-identical, heavily made-up, body beautiful dancers with their legs out, posed, pranced and poised around the stage thrashing out recognizable shapes and literal gestures. Proof that good dancing is simply not enough, these highly skilled technicians gave it all they’ve got, and the choreography still fell short.
The highlight of the evening was definitely Trash Dolly’s Dance Theatre. We’re surrounded nowadays with a wealth of break dance fusion companies. Fusion is a concept about which I often rant. Its not enough to place two styles together, to fuse styles with any success the goal is for the material to become one new thing, distinct from the two parent styles. Trash Dollys are using their (considerable and varied) skills to create work that is not only physically impressive but also has something to say. Walter is like if Russell Malifant did Fight Club. Alex Rowland physicalizes a sad, hunched old man remarkably well, making his smooth and articulate floor work all the more sensational when it happens, especially as its blended seamlessly into the narrative. In contrast his smooth alter-ego, Sam Amos, is jaunty and sinister, with a unique characterization which infiltrates his entire body. The piece feels like it has further to go in terms of the development of the narrative and dramaturgy. I look forward to seeing where it may go next.