Keep Everything, Chunky Move Studios, June 19
If you haven’t been to a dance show recently, Chunky Move’s
latest production will remind you why you should watch a professional dancer over a C-list celebrity who wants to lose weight once in a while.
is like being in a dream, where everything makes sense but is totally absurd. Like a stream of consciousness, the dance is born from a single movement and it seems history itself evolves from there. The three characters are like Neanderthals, evolving at an increasing pace. Discovering language out of meaningless grunts, they speak throughout, often to the audience - and this is delightful. Their utterances are mostly absurd and often funny. Laughing themselves, we laughed back until we realised their laughter was just another form of grunts. Audience engagement is also mostly devoid of meaning and yet we engage nonetheless, showing the strength of the human capacity and desire to connect.
Our Neanderthals discover pattern, and make beautiful patterns themselves. If you love numbers (who doesn’t love numbers?) you’ll sit there transfixed, trying to identifying any sequences. Every move is clearly linked to the move before and often turns into something that is very clearly recognisable, but its broader meaning is not apparent. Is she a dog or a baby? Are they having sex or is she giving birth? It’s kind of like Red Letter Media’s questions about Prometheus
, except unlike the plot-holed film, we don’t think we’re supposed to get any broader meaning – the point is to explore what unfolds. It’s enjoyable to just let go and let the random connections unfurl beautifully.
The dancing is wonderful and intricate – sometimes you forget what a human body can do. It moves with the sound and combines with the dancers’ own noises. It sometimes seems less like the dancers are moving to the music and more like it comes from the dancers themselves. If you forgot that the sound design was by The Presets, you were reminded halfway through with a synchronised section, when a heavy bass drum beat similar to ‘Anywhere’ kicked in. Their work on this show has made us pretty excited about their forthcoming album Pacifica
Eventually the stream of consciousness comes full circle – the only non-random part of the show – and we wonder if our characters are even aware of the journey they just went on, or whether it was all just a dream. This is one of those shows that will stick in your head, and act on your own unconscious mind. Who knows what random connections it will generate?
Keep Everything runs until Saturday 23 June at Chunky Move Studios.