Compañia Sharon Fridman – All Ways – “an intriguing journey through emotional states”

Compañia Sharon Fridman – All Ways. Photo by Ignacio Urrutia

Celebrating 10 years of Compañia Sharon Fridman‘s activity, All Ways marks the end of a circle that reaffirms the company’s immersive and vibrant style over the time.  

All Ways is a burst of emotions condensed in less than one hour show where six dancers investigate the impossibility of permanent harmony, an intense representation of a sense of loss followed by the acceptance of what we are – all different, in all ways. 

Circular patterns recur through the performance outlining multiple and continuous paths that travel through contrasting emotional states: loss, search, dream, falling in love and construction; ways that coexist and converge in search of harmony. 

All Ways opens in darkness with two small lights fluttering around, dancers move chaotically in circles accompanied by peaceful piano music. The contrast between chaos and calm anticipates the storm of conflicting emotions that will follow.  

Dancers cutting across the stage pull and push a figure standing in the middle, the scene is developed in diagonals where brief stillness alternates to captivating interactions. It is a continuous grabbing and falling that disseminates a sense of confusion. 

Compañia Sharon Fridman – All Ways. Photo by Ignacio Urrutia
Compañia Sharon Fridman – All Ways. Photo by Ignacio Urrutia

Pulsing music sets the scene for off balance movements and daring lifts that see dancers hanging off their partners’ shoulders or just holding on their neck.

Sharon Fridman‘s genuine interest in nature and people is visible in the extensive use of floor work and intricate contacts. The amazing continuous flow of energy that runs between dancers attracts the audience even when at times patterns can be excessively hypnotic.

Olga Garcìa’s lighting design is simple but effective, a single spotlight in the background cuts horizontally across the performers, sometimes like a fan moving up and down, or a rotating set of rays, all enhanced by a diffused light fog.

The whole atmosphere is surreal, with naked bodies sauntering around effortlessly, side by side, face to face, or lightly touching each other’s shoulder. Stripped off their personal conflicts they seem to embrace their own way while suspended in a different dimension. 

Compañia Sharon Fridman – All Ways. Photo by Ignacio Urrutia
Compañia Sharon Fridman – All Ways. Photo by Ignacio Urrutia
Compañia Sharon Fridman – All Ways. Photo by Ignacio Urrutia
Compañia Sharon Fridman – All Ways. Photo by Ignacio Urrutia

The whole choreography mainly develops in diagonals and circles, with lots of partnering and endless rotating lifts executed with incredible technicality. Duets are kept together by an attracting force that entwines their bodies in a beautiful love ritual. 

The most entrancing scene comes towards the end when dancers, gracefully entangled, slowly use each other’s bodies to climb higher and higher in a precarious balance.

A mountain of constantly shifting bodies offers the final image of acceptance and acknowledge of the impossibility to set a fixed image.

What strikes the most is the intensity of their gaze, establishing a strong connection with the audience, that is indirectly involved in the search of harmony. 

Part of Operaestate Festival taking place in the Veneto region in Italy, All Ways by Compañia Sharon Fridman contributes to a rich programme of music, theatre and dance that encourages a sense of belonging to a common European space and promotes a shared cultural heritage.

Reviewed at Teatro Remondini on 17 July 2018.

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