Resolution 2019: Lizzie J Klotz/E14 Dance Company/Matsena Performance Theatre

E14 Dance Company - Danube. Photo by Prexactly

Fawn – a young deer, or the hyperbolic display of flattery as a form of protection? Lizzie J Klotz’s witty solo about female performativity balances comedy, refined movement and anecdotes to examine the language and gestures we inhabit in the pursuit of pleasing others and ourselves. This well-crafted, self-referential piece uses a Disney-esque soundtrack and a deft dosage of strutting, sauntering and hip swivelling to raise questions concerning gender, power and lost innocence. Although Klotz’s work is coherently structured, the headdress section could do with rearranging – an overly complex combination of microphone wielding, speech and motion. Owing to the playful nature of the solo, it would benefit from being longer in duration to really fine-tune the nuances of the subject matter.

In contrast to the satirical tone of FawnKatie Boag’s DANUBE is truly harrowing from the moment the dim lights rise, revealing a writhing, convulsing form beneath a white sheet. Drawing inspiration from a Jewish memorial, this contemporary fusion powerfully, bluntly, delves into feelings of loss, conflict and persecution. Boag’s distinct style is less confidently crafted in the beginning, but gradually builds with a striking unison floor section, whereby the dancers jerk through foetal positions. An intricate female ‘underwater’ duet is intriguing yet muddled. The booming soundtrack complements hard-hitting choreography, which the dancers command with masterful vigour.

The raw, emotive intensity of DANUBE continues into the third work, Matsena Performance Theatre’s Lies To Be Truth. Drawing inspiration from krump, African and contemporary disciplines, this duet hones an original movement vocabulary that, at times, suffers from a lack of stylistic and tonal continuity. Both Matsena and Hoare exceptional, with so much individual flair that occasionally they don’t mesh well together. The accompanying music is a refreshing array of genres from hip-hop beats to medieval vocals. The ending hints to a resolution between the dancers’ ambiguous characters, for which there was no adequate preparation. An incredibly ambitious pursuit, Matsena creates tantalising ambiguity for the audience.

Reviewed on 19th of January at The Place by Stella Rousham