Interweaving the layers of life: A triple invoice by Our bodies in Motion

Phrases by Francesca Matthys.

Bodies in Action advocates for the involvement of all, particularly marginalised identities in modern dance. That is performed by means of the curation of their numerous occasions resembling Motion Lab that creates house for artists to share their works in course of in a protected and type atmosphere.

As we wait in calm anticipation within the efficiency venue WappArt, the viewers sit on chairs and splay themselves throughout the grassy carpet on this intimately organized house. The backdrop is giant colourfully painted canvases. An area for all, as Creative Director of Our bodies in Motion Julian Nichols, warmly welcomes us.

The night opens with Ahead to Nowhere, a duet by TwoFold Dance Theatre, a brand new collective made up of Jan Wooden and Laurie Case. The 2 embody a rollercoaster of feelings resembling nervousness, confusion and uncertainty, making use of oppositions of their our bodies each individually and collectively. An lively try at discovering that means.

They transfer by means of poignant actions resembling prayer or surrendering. To be absolved from their humanity or to be enlightened by a deeper expertise. Quite Beckettesque. I instantly ponder on the Kundalini Yoga Sutra ‘The opposite particular person is you’ as Jan and Laurie mirror one another and show tender moments of help and understanding. The pair share lovely moments of weaving out and in of one another, fluidly exploring the adverse house that separates their our bodies. That separates us as human beings. 

Jordan Boyle is wearing what appears like layers of striped pyjamas. The beat begins to blare as their eyes develop huge and targeted. Boyle’s improvisation possesses a hip hop like high quality as they dance with no inhibitions. As if being alone of their bed room. Their motion is huge and agile that excites the viewers with its charisma. The bouncy nature of the actions reveals remnants of home as Boyle grooves throughout the house. Their presence is fascinating and hyper conscious as their eyes scan the house for curiosities and even threats. It is vitally simple to be fully captivated by Boyle’s motion, particularly by means of improvisation the place the ultimate vacation spot is commonly a thriller.

The Drawback, the headline efficiency of the night catches us off guard as a radio information report and different discussions round prejudice begins to fill the house with context. The controversial voice of broadcaster Piers Morgan will be heard. We’re in the actual world with actual issues that infiltrate into our complacent viewing expertise. ‘On Air’ says an indication that hovers above an inflatable mattress.

We’re on edge. We’re floating above water. We should survive.

Performer Moses Ward enters the house wearing layers, shades of black and brown. Ward’s two hooded jackets allude to the adverse stereotypes and concern positioned upon black male our bodies at this time, merely residing their lives. That is contrasted although by the sensitivity of speech as he declares ‘I nonetheless love you’ and proceeds to ask for consent to the touch his fictitious different who resides on the inflatable mattress. His steady repetition of ‘Could I?’ May also be seen as a plea for relaxation and a plea to exist in his physique in security and freedom.

Ward proceeds to dreamily have interaction in embodied dialog with the mattress. Wonderful liquid repetition. As Ward lastly rests in stillness, the literal air beneath him is stolen as an eerie Piers Morgan illustration deflates the mattress. What does it imply to reside in a society the place the help beneath you is abruptly taken away? It is a motif all through the work, as Ward should constantly reignite his help. It’s a very actual second in very actual time that enables for a way of breath and self reflection for onlookers. One could say that the mattress is a illustration of his human expertise, of his mortality that he should struggle and take care of. 

Ward begins to bounce uneasily, pushed by his hips, pushed by concern, by pressure? Topic to another person’s needs. These moments of sudden shift in rhythm that break from the domesticity of life, dialogue and ruminative movement are potent and intriguing. Ward is a stupendous mover, who’s bodily storytelling is imbued with pleasant tone and enlargement. His relationship to the thing is fastidiously curated, parallel with an enormous use of the thing. 

As he prepares to depart the house, armour intact once more, we’re reminded of simply how a lot we every carry in our human vessels. How although our internal landscapes are so complicated, we’ve got no selection however to face the world and do all of it once more. Maybe a contemplation on care, on resilience, on consciousness of self and different. 

The Drawback choreographed by Julian Nichols in collaboration with performer Moses Ward, improvisation carried out by Jordan Boyle in collaboration and with steering from Julian Nichols. Ahead to Nowhere choreographed and carried out by Jan Wooden and Laurie Case. Each had been carried out on the twenty first & twenty second July 2023 at WappArt in London.