8 Feb 2024

Place Resolution 2024 - works by Jiwon Oh, TwoFold Dance Theatre and Silver-Tongue Studios

My third and last Resolution bill and it proved the most satisfying of them all.

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
Jiwon Oh: Picture Us Now
TwoFold Dance Theatre: Forward to Nowhere
Silver-Tongue Studios: Devil Fish
7 Feb 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/wed-7-feb

My third and last Resolution bill and it proved the most satisfying and broadly enjoyable night of them all. It began with the surprise that is Jiwon Ohs Picture Us Now, a happily mysterious solo that started (dancewise) with the merest hint of a flickering finger and ended with her ceaselessly pogoing to our rather astounded enjoyment. But much of Ohs performance was about taking what you might think of as gym or yoga-style poses and isolating movement to a single limb or two, which sounds tedious, yet I found it rather mesmerising and absorbing. That said I’m not sure if the ever-changing abstract projections on the floor and smiling tourist picture-snapping of the rolling start added very much. Quite how Oh might take forward such an idiosyncratic style I can’t imagine, but count me interested.

Forward to Nowhere, by Laurie Case and Jan Wood, aka TwoFold Dance Theatre, also pleased with the quality of its movement, in this case a heavy dose of Hip-hop threading with a sprinkling of more expressive contemporary freedom. It’s a piece about creating a work as the two try possibilities, relax and try again. But it wasn’t the drama that drew me in so much as the mesmerising knotting and joining that threading can produce, and which they vividly brought to life. Forward to Nowhere also featured a particularly fine custom score by Seirian Griffiths: vaguely jazzy, it strongly supported the ebb and flow of the action. All up, TwoFold delivered the most polished production of the evening, and I look forward to seeing more of what they do.

The show ended with the most sophisticated-looking work, Devil Fish by Silver-Tongue Studios. Intriguingly, it’s about the octopus and its bad PR - the fear it raises in us. For three dancers, identically dressed in red bathing wear and lengths of shimmering gauze, Devil Fish has some beautiful undulating, enveloping and slithery moments that brought an octopus to vivid life. But at other times it felt rather off-piste as the three wanted to just show their contemporary dance chops, and with it the magic was broken. There’s an interesting work here, if it currently feels still in development. But that’s Resolution and why we come - to see experiments from new generations of dance makers - and bravo I say to all of them.