Last night I was invited to attend Hofesh Shechter’s "Uprising and The Art Of Not Looking Back". Having never attended a legit dance production before I wasn’t too enthralled about the whole idea... My initial ideas could not have been more wrong. From the moment I entered the auditorium with usher’s offering me earplugs I knew that I was in for an evening of something interesting.
Act 1 consisted of a company of male contemporary dancers in an act entitled “Uprising”. I was amazed at their core strength and ability to mould themselves into all directions... Being a dance student (I know, a dance student who doesn't like watch dance shows seems crazy) I can only imagine the years of practise gone into being able to have such control over their movements. It’s also important to note their selling of the performance: the dancers fully committed to the performance and conveyed strong emotions to the audience of dance students, dance enthusiasts and general public. After some amazing flooreography (dancing on the floor... that’s not a technical term) Act 1 ended with a man being suspended by the other dancers waving a red flag (a nice homage to Les Mis in my opinion).
Act 2’s “The Art of Not Looking Back” was presented by a female company. The juxtaposition of men beating each other up in Act 1 to the female dancers performing jaunty ballet positions whilst shaking their stomachs violently at the sky tells us a lot about the artistic choices behind Hofesh’s idea. My highlight of the show was when the men joined the women and the whole company performed a spookily sped up version of the whole show in dimly lit shadows. I believe the lighting plot played a huge part in the success of this show... Without it the dance effects wouldn’t work.
Not being a huge fan of watching dance performances beforehand this show has definitely opened up my mind to a new branch of theatre... I was always under the impression that dance was supposed to tell a story and even though I could not for the life of me decipher a story from the whole piece it was thought provoking and extremely clever. In my reviewing notes I wrote “something from a Saw movie” which I pretty much sum up the whole concept of this piece. I would urge anyone to check out Hofesh’s or the Dance Xchange’s work.