SANNE CLIFFORD & Co in Amsterdam.

Contemporary dance likes to deal with contemporary issues, from fast-paced, technology infused society that we live in, to other less tangible concepts about being, time and space. Sanne Clifford & Co stayed in a rather superficial sphere, trying to question how we connect or disconnect in daily life and deal with the pressures of society on a day to day basis.

A double performance evening at the CC Amstel Theatre started with a 20 minute performance straightforwardly named 3 is a crowd — three dancers, one of them the choreographer herself, danced in the foyer of the theatre moving through the crowd gathered to witness the performance. As the foyer is not normally suited for such executions, the lights were left exactly as they always are, and two big speakers were put on a seemingly random spot in order to play music that would certainly benefit much more from a proper theatre setting. The choreography itself was dynamic and interesting, but did not benefit from the presentation in the foyer — it merely resembled a street performance, that you happened to stumble upon.

The second part luckily took place in the actual theatre auditorium and began interestingly enough. Each of the visitors was asked to take a Post-It note from the wall in front of the entrance, and do as the note says. Ranging from ‘look a stranger in the eyes’ to ‘sit on the stage for a while and watch’, audience members were also allowed not to respect the note and simply leave it on the stage next to one of the dancers already present. They were all surrounded with a pile of used, torn Post-It notes, and after the crowd took their seats the performance began.

Note to Self is Sanne Clifford & Co’s first full-length performance, but due to accompanying songs with intervals of silence, as if someone was changing the CD backstage, it rather seemed as though there were several performances combined into one. Out of the four dancers the most impressive interpretation of complex and difficult choreography was achieved by Fabiana Carchesio, successfully portraying an inner struggle and feelings of unease. Definitely a name to remember.

As it happens, not every contemporary issue can be successfully transformed into a contemporary dance performance — but it is, as with all things, worth the try.    Eva Tisnikar     10th February 2019

Photo by and © Marian Putman