DANS CLICK 19 at the Korzo Theater in The Hague

Last night’s Dans Click 19 consisted of three short pieces, advertised as try-outs (but to me looking fully fledged) by three young, up and coming choreographers.

First up was Rhizoma by Astrid Boons, danced by Ms Boons and Parvaneh Scharafali, which had something primeval about it, as the two dancers, or should I say entities, slowly emerged from the darkness. Their convulsive struggle to grow, at first individually, later struggling with each other as they intertwined to such an extent that it became hard to see which arm or leg belonged to whom, creating what looked like astonishing, multi-limbed living sculptures. The resolution to their struggles came with the realisation of cooperation in the form of mirroring and supporting each other’s movements. Astrid Boon, who in her track record can boast of having been guest dancer at the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in Germany, is an inventive choreographer who exploits fine detail. In this work she gave the perfect demonstration of her philosophy that no single being can exist as an individual alone.

Sabine Molenaar’s That’s It was almost cinematic, dreamlike and enthralling – a set bathed in red light, an apparently very old woman who, when briefly donning a couple of long-haired wigs, seemed to recall her younger years when she was desirable and sexy, her tentative movements reminding me of Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire or Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Molenaar has the ability to transform her body, often by her incredible control of her abdominal muscles – at times her movements were so fluid that her entire skeleton seemed to dissolve, at other times she appeared to be nothing but skin and bones; some of her moves  and images were downright  spooky. This was an extraordinary performance. Händel’s Se pietà di me non senti (If you feel no pity for me) beautifully underlined the drama of the character’s struggle.

The evening’s final offering was On Hold by Ryan Djojokarso. Dance, play, sport – all of these seem to come together in this very funny piece. It began with a behind the scenes loud argument – we knew we were in for something unusual. When the two  dancers (Mayke van Kruchten and Christopher Tandy) came on stage it was with the false smiles of couples who pretend that everything is ‘just fine’. The piece, in places reminiscent of Capoeira, was an attention-seeking battle, danced with great wit and energy. A head-strong young woman struggled against the man who tried to control her – here were the rages that every woman feels. At one hilarious point, and in an attempt to belittle the man, she pulled down his shorts. There was a good five minutes of face slapping, perhaps a little too long for my taste, but perhaps the two dancers, who had exerted themselves like top-class athletes, just needed a breather. Altogether a very humourous, entertaining and relevant piece about the battle of the sexes.   Astrid Burchardt   1st March 2018


Photo of Rhizoma by and © Rob Hogeslag