No Man’s Land

CCA, Glasgow

Mary Brennan

four stars

Now that she’s based in Saxony, with her partner and young daughter, Rosalind Masson isn’t seen as often as we’d like on Scottish stages. Her solo performance at CCA this week was an eloquent reminder of what we’ve missed. Her ongoing preoccupations with issues of ecology, climate change and our part in keeping our planet alive are still to the fore, but the choreography in No Man’s Land made these concerns intensely personal influences. Like a kind of Everywoman, Masson used her body - its innate grace and disciplined technique - to explore how ‘context’ shapes us. What we take from our experiences, how we build that into our everyday being - and, maybe, even what we learn to give back...

The opening section finds Masson in flesh-coloured bra and briefs, touching base with the upstage space. The soundscore, overseen by Jer Reid, has a thrumming, pulsing quality here and there are movement motifs that will recur at different points - a cupping of hands (giving? taking?) and a back and forth phrasing that suggests a mindset in swithering transition are among them. Changing into a hoodie, leggings and trainers - and with a lighting design that chequers the floor with rectangles of light - Masson spirals and spins in a dialogue between the boundaries of darkness and light before the third section shifts her solo into the creating of an installation that - using ice, earth and water - reflects the building blocks of our fragile planet. Finally, in white sneakers and a little black dress, Masson emerges as the self she’s reconciled across her solo: wonderfully lithe, whirling and loose-limbed - and yet revisiting those motifs of to-ing and fro-ing, the cupping of hands that are eager to reach out, the need to connect with the environment that owns us more than we own it. She exits. But leaves us with a sense of responsibility towards the environment that supports us. Beautiful, thoughtful work.