TOUCH SOUND & IN LAK’ECH at the Delft Fringe Festival

Jonathan Nagel and Thalia Laric in Touch Sound

DAY TWO – 31st May.

For us, the second night of the Festival was all about dance, or at least movement. We were back at the Rietveld to see Aissa Kraayenbrink in In Lak’ech but unfortunately Aissa was injured so her place was taken by Laila el Bazi.

It was a strange piece, this. It was basically very confrontational. Two women on stage were exploring, apparently, how they could relate to each other, promoting the theory that we are all one – In Lak’ech. I must say there didn’t seem to be much oneness around, it all seemed very aggressive to me. The piece involved tapes being pulled across the stage and the two performers doing a great deal of running, jumping – and fighting. The final conflict involved one of those large rubber exercise balls one rolls around on. This they threw aggressively at each other until one of them was knocked over. Hmmm. Maybe I missed something, but I’m afraid this left me rather cold and unmoved.

Then it was off to the MicroTheatre in the shadow of the city’s mighty Nieuwe Kerk. This was the first time I had visited the venue and I was very impressed by the beautiful space and felt very comfortable there. We had come to see Touch Sound by Jonathan Nagel.

This was a much more professional and well-presented piece. Mr Nagel and dancer Thalia Laric explored the relationship between sound and movement. Both dressed, in black, they sat silently on opposite sides of the stage, separated by a recumbent double bass. The piece started slowly and in silence until the musician started to move the instrument around, gradually bringing it to life with tapping, scratching, scraping and, finally, bowing. There was some vocal intervention from both performers and it was the unconventional interaction between the two that was the essence of the piece and, although it was very short, it was very satisfying. Recommended.    Michael Hasted    31st May 2019

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