28 Jan 2024

Place Resolution 2024 - works by Seirian Griffiths/Aurora Casatori, Hannah Waters and Aishwarya Raut

My first review at Resolution 2024 and it proved a night of thoughtful dance creation..

The Place’s generic picture for this show. Photo © The Place.The Place’s generic picture for this show. Photo © The Place.

Place Resolution festival
Seirian Griffiths and Aurora Casatori: In All Black, Nothingness Began To Spin
Hannah Waters: Duet
Aishwarya Raut: What About The Rain?
27 Jan 2024
London, The Place

Resolution is The Place’s annual festival of new choreography and performance works by emerging artists. This review was originally commissioned by The Place as part of Resolution Review, where established dance writers are paired with new writers (interested in writing about dance) to cover each night of the festival. The original review on this page (and its companion review) can be found at: https://theplace.org.uk/blogs-stories/sat-27-jan-2

A night of what proved to be thoughtful dance creation kicked off with Seirian Griffiths and Aurora Casatoris accomplished and beefy In All Black, Nothingness Began To Spin. It’s a work for the two in which they compete for power and control of a relationship. In a week when we have all been absorbed by Traitors on the telly, this seemed like a honed battle of wits as each Traitor tried to get the better of the other, by turns aggressive, manipulative, mirroring and supportive. Griffiths’ and Casatori’s stunning and powerful dancing (backgrounds in BalletBoyz and Motionhouse are fully on show) and Andrew Ellis’s emphatic lighting is the takeaway here. Sadly, the overall ambiance was spoiled by a soundscape including many quotes from films that you can’t really make out in real time - a bit irritating. That said, the closing We’re Done” quote punctuated In All Black well.

Hannah Waters Duet is a heartfelt work about the connection with her great aunt, the constructivist artist Jean Spencer, and started with an overly lengthy monologue to set the scene. But I wanted to move on quicker and see Waters’ movement take on art that is all about mathematics and geometry - some projections of Spencer’s pictures would have been handy. The movement was incredibly precise and very tightly constrained - nothing free-flowing here. And it was utterly absorbing… at first, but after a while my mind drifted as the lack of variety in the largely semaphore arms took its toll. An interesting experiment (and part of Waters’ PhD project) but this felt like a dance dead-end, if clearly a touching personal response to another artist and art.

A polar opposite was the expansively exciting What About The Rain? by Rambert dancer Aishwarya Raut. For Raut and nine other Rambert dancers, this was a piece originally inspired by Mumbai’s monsoon season… and life, the universe and everything, it seems. Many scenes didn’t always seem relevant or to join up that well. BUT my goodness this could pack a punch visually with the stripped-back space pulsating with Bollywood and contemporary movement and some lovely images as dancers chain across the stage, drape themselves on others and cleverly appear and disappear from a wandering howdah. Raut, a catherine wheel of ideas, looks one to follow.