Resolution 2019: José Tomás/Panos Malactos/Fubu Nation

Ruins FUBU. photo by Joseip Viskovic

Panos Malactos’ 4YEARS, a bizarre and outrageously fun piece, mocks the experimental and eccentric side of contemporary culture. Going against preconception, the work is intentionally pretentious rather than unwittingly so. The dancers babble out convoluted jargon in spoken word and in another episode, expose their naked behinds whilst the iconic tune from A Space Odyssey booms in the background. It becomes even more comedic when such a playful quality is executed with strong contemporary technique. The snappy duet is a vibrant fifteen minutes of devious entertainment, extremely well received by viewers.

Unlike 4YEARSFabu Nation’s Ruins sets a moodier vibe in a sultry urban contemporary style. Two athletic men physically battle it out in a rugged conflict heavily focussed on the breath. These sonorous exhalations are tense and supply the stimulus which instigates the next movements. The breath stands alone as a musical layer within an oppressive composition that echoes above the barren stage, stripped of its stage curtains and wings. Unafraid to intensify the volume, the soundtrack became a little discomforting and perhaps distracts from the impressive popping element of Waddah Sinada and Rhys Dennis’ choreography. Their connection suggests a ‘Follow the Leader’ kind of game being played which reinforces their mutual dependency and ultimately they return into darkness united.

The self-choreographed solo, Enough Matter, created by the Chilean performer José Tomás is conceptually focused in its exploration of the body’s physical construction. Initially, the shapes and folds manipulating a sheet of plastic material create a visceral image; its monotone crackling and crumpling essentially fills the role of musical accompaniment. The beginning is slow moving and prolonged periods spent in still positions on the floor, in near blackout, grow a little tedious over time. However, eventually, there’s a spontaneous breakout into frenzy. Coloured lights flicker spasmodically and Tomás throws his body into wild shapes. He prowls the stage in an animalistic fashion and his gestures became bestial and inhumane. A bold creation endured well by the solo artist.

Reviewed on 2nd of February by Sophie Chinner at The Place within Resolution Festival