Homes For Broken Turns + It Needs Horses
The first half of Lost Dog's double bill, Homes For Broken Turns, conjures up the kind of rural backwater where generations of women wither on the vine of family tradition, superstition and unquestioning obedience.
If the dancers' use of French keeps some audiences at a distance, the body language of all four women shrieks unmistakably of a poverty and isolation that renders them child-like, almost feral, in their rough and tumble games and squabbles.
One (Solene Weinachter) wants more: she wants out - and the frustrated anguish of her wrenching body and primal howlings is harrowing, raw and unexpectedly unnerving. When she turns up in It Needs Horses, as a tatty circus performer with nothing to offer but her body, you wonder: is she that same desperate girl? If so, her lot is just as soul destroying. Handled, in every sense, by her clown-manager (Joan Cleville, his outstretched bowler hat always on the look-out for dosh), she seems trapped in cycles of degradation. The comedy is rife with seedy tragedy, the performers embrace all shades of graphic humiliation with such grotesque hope you don't know whether to laugh or cry.
Refugees of the Septic Heart
Somehow that old Joni Mitchell line, 'we are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden' comes to mind as the final section of Tom Dale's Refugees of the Septic Heart blazes across the stage. Digital projections explode in bursts of white light, dancers erupt in high-energy dashes where their bodies are washed by the dynamic imagery, making them part of a universe beyond our current earth-consuming way of life.
That driven rat-race had dappled the slickly brisk dancers with feverish, flickering frames of stock-market number-crunching and before that, the opening scenes had filled the space with a glorious, primal outpouring of tribal awakenings overlaid with the emerging starscapes of a cosmos that is, like Dale's dancers, never static.
It's an epic concept, inspired by (and using) music by Shackleton. And though the projections lapping over the geometric shapes of the set are quite fabulous,what really shines are the dancers in a choreography of palpably fierce physicality.
All runs ended