Friday, 8 November 2013

Hofesh Shechter's "Sun" (Review? I guess?) =]

You know, there were some parts when people in the audience laughed, and I didn't find it funny at all.

I saw it as a political piece.

But let's go from the beginning; I saw the 1st November performance, it was last Friday. I've finally got around to writing it. Different thoughts have crossed my mind about this piece and it took me a long while to empty it all out. It's occurred to me that I've seen a bucketload of contemporary Dance even though I'm only 20. Hopefully that means I'm not just chatting garbage. I suppose it helps that, studying English Literature at university, I am used to analysing and interpreting works of art to death.

I went with my sister (teaches Dance A Level at college), her colleague, and her colleague's partner, so although it was a 'fun' outing, they were already familiar with Hofesh Shechter's work, they'd seen Political Mother, so they had a certain expectation on going to see Sun.

Okay then.

The beginning confused me. I liked the spontaneity but I was a little anxious as I felt that I was waiting for something. It was episodic and the movement came in snippets, which left me on the edge of my seat waiting for a chunk of choreography that would satisfy me. I felt like (dunno why, but, I felt like) dancers were portraying something that was being repressed. Just my feeling.

I LOVED the part where the dancers were all on one side of the stage in a cluster, no music, simply gestures all done in perfect timing with each other. At some point I was going in my mind 'Oh my God! That's amazing! Somebody MUST be leading! Who's leading?!' That was awesome.

The choreography is soooo lovely, you can see all sorts of fusions and influences, really interesting gestures, and there was such a freedom in the movement, like a release, and so complete and whole that even now I can't be sure that that was A. the style of the dancers', B. Hofesh Shechter's particular choreography and style, or C. my feeling as a result of the atmosphere of the piece, combined with lighting, music, costume, so on.


(well not really...)

the sheep/wolf - girl/guy - victim/threat scene, it was excellent but the moment I saw it I knew THIS was, for me, the symbolic climax of the piece, the fact that it returned various times with themes made me feel that even stronger. I felt as if the population, citizens of a nation, they are the sheep. Or should I say, WE are the sheep. The nation. The people. I don't think any Presidents or Ministers will be reading this so I think I can include anybody reading (if anybody does) as the sheep. Sorry. S'what I felt.

Still figuring out what the threat is... I suppose that's why in a way I hated it. The uncertainty made me wary. And afraid. The music had me completely on edge and during the blackout when the music is deafening and terrifying, my heart was racing and I felt really terrified in my chair, and I felt threatened.

I suddenly remembered the music shopping in Primark today and my mild mood disappeared, I just wanted to go home. ANYWAY. Though while I was looking up symptoms of severe depression, I think I saw Irrational Fears listed so i should have seen it coming. My sudden overwhelming fears of monsters in the dark, coupled with my nightmares, probably contributed to that feeling at the show last Friday. Yesterday, I kept imagining the music and then imaging an angel wrapping it wings protectively around me, but then the angel would have sharp teeth like a monster and start biting into my neck and tearing chunks out. Fuck. Damn. I went to see a mental wellbeing institute after that, thank God.


Why were people laughing? I don't understand that behaviour. I didn't see anything funny. I felt like shouting, 'Can't you see it?! Can't you see the symbolism?! It's all there! And it's not exactly funny!'

Some parts were funny, the way the sheep placard was being moved by the dancer, turning around and doing all sorts of stuff, but then for example, when the victim comes face to face with the threat and there's a scream, I think the second time round with the girl there was some laughter, and I kind of couldn't believe that people were laughing when I was scared out of my wits, but again maybe it was just me, maybe I didn't 'get' it. Horrible.

At one point, the dancer in the coat twin-tailed coat-thing was screaming, and another male dancer before that I'm pretty sure, a few chuckles at that too. My first thought on seeing it was a frustration, bordering on insanity, so I didn't find it funny becauuuuse as I'd spent a great deal of last week having panic attacks, I felt more or less exactly like that. Maybe people just laughed out of their awkwardness. Children also do that when they see 'weird dancing'.

So, the dancer in the white coat. I felt that he was a... guide, leader, composer, creator, choreographer of some kind, trying to gain a sense of control. But control was in a tug of war with mental stability. The more control he got, the less sane he seemed to be. The less control he got... okay weeeell, maybe that theory doesn't work :3

I loved the marching. It looked fantastic on the stage, very uniform and neat and tidy. You know I like neat and tidy =]

The girls in their underwear made me feel awkward. I was like, 'Oh wait, is something gonna happen? What's gonna happen?' and I'm not sure what the choice for that was. It worked only to a point I think. Something was being revealed but I didn't know what, so it was lost on me... sorry. Maybe because I'm female. I dunno.

Okay, now my FAVOURRRITE part =D

A particular dancer was onstage, in the center, looking up at a lone light. Then there's blackout and the next moment he's circling his arms in the air and following the light's movement, as if he's entranced or worshipping it, then he moved to the front corner of the stage and seemingly meditates. That entire bit was trancelike for me.

We talked about the piece a long while afterwards, I liked hearing the opinions of the other three, there were some things we all agreed on, and other points... not. I think Hofesh Shechter's Q and A at the end helped it to make a bit more sense. I felt a lot like there was glimpses of hope as well as pure terror in the piece. I really like the style, though some parts of the piece was baffling to me... yyyeah.

Ahhh oh yyyeahhh... the 'sun'...

We had a debate about that too. It seemed like a glimmer of hope but... BUT...?! It wasn't a HAPPY sun! It was like a dying sun, blissful and beautiful but bittersweet and just not... all good. It's like waiting for that moment of optimism that he was talking about, but when it finally comes, it's not as perfect as it should have been, there's this ongoing, dark note that persists throughout. Bah. Hm. =/ But it was such a good piece =D

Anyway that was just a snapshot, wanted to write what I remembered before I forgot... my sister is determined to go back and see it again in the Spring, if my crazy mindset lifts, I'll probably go with her. I want to, but man, how that sheep-wolf bit scared me. When I set her the email, I thinks she thought I was joking, she actually had to hear my voice on the phone and then the penny dropped, she was pretty shocked. So am I. Dunno what's wrong with me. I'm glad I'm getting help now. I do need to go to shows more often and get out more though...

Man does life suck. =P

Star. xx
P.S. They may be typos ^ but I don't care. teehee c:

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