From Human to Animal / Modern Dance part 1

REVIEW by CHARLOTTE SCHULTZ

Undergrowth is the title of the 50 minute performance by fourth year students of the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (SEAD), Austria. They opened this evening and shared the stage with the Fontys Dansacademy of Tilburg.

In the corner of the stage stands a red wall, with a window. Peaking through, a lamp is visible. This abstract living room is the setting of this dream-like performance, choreographed by Maya Lipsker. Boys and girls wearing pig masks move in slow motion. Their naturalistic human movements subtly transform into animal-like behaviour. When the masks come off, an Indian spiritual theme becomes visible, with movements reminiscent of prayer and ritual dance.

Striking are the subtle changes in energy of the group. You really have to listen and watch in full attention to appreciate what is truly happening.

A lovely evening takes place at a dining table, including wine and candles. Suddenly the performers attack their food like animals, creating a sudden surrealistic and scary atmosphere. When they appearantly seem to pull something invisible out of theirs bodies, it makes me wonder what this piece is about.

This is a ‘safe’ performance to look at, with movements that keep the dancers within their own comfort zone. No lines are being searched, pushed or crossed like Dutch audiences have become so used to. Instead,  the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance create a gentle and inviting performance, that eases the senses.

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