PROTEO PROJECT VERTICAL DANCE
by Il Posto
Raffles City Shopping Centre
We managed to catch the latest free performance that hit town! By Association Il Posto from Italy, this dance performance uses the artistic discipline of vertical dancing from the 1970s. An excerpt from ST’s Life! (June 7):
Named after mythical Greek god Proteus, who was able to change his form at will, the project has developed dance pieces to be performed on vertical planes, including towers, lighthouses and bridges.
[The project] reduced the number of dancers over the years because [it] wanted the audience to feel more intimately acquianted with the dancers… didn’t want the performance to seem like a circus act…every performance takes the shape of its environment and is new and different.
(The show began…)
The scene/show began with Marco Castelli, the composer, hynotising the audience with a Kenny G-esque contemporary jazz/new age number, being synthed to draw out the long sensuous notes into echoes of a timeless night. The 2 dancers, in plain unadorned white gear, emerged in earnest. Warm beige lights were cast next, highlighting the organic human form against the grey metallic panelboards of Raffles City.
Then they sprang into action.
What ensued were 4 different acts of varying motions: having practiced almost 3 years, the duo performed spectacularly beautiful movements in the air, captivating the crowd into gasps of fancy and flights of imagination. There was an act of ballet-like moves – the twirls and jumps made especially elegant with the “slow-mo” effect on the vertical wall. There was an act of context if I perceive it correctly – muay thai, taijiquan and shaolin ritual actions conceived as breakbeats thumped in the background. Another act seemed to be a smorgasbord of fencing moves, flying trapeze and a homage to parkour in a display of energy and surprise moves(see video)!
It made aware not only the oft-forgotten facade of Raffles City, but I believe it captures a certain theme of suspension. Suspension in the air of the dancers, suspension of perspective as one looks upwards, suspension of time as one sways to the trancey tunes, suspension of space where gravity is delayed, and suspension of the audience in their conceptions about dance and its artistic medium. Great show, great timing and most of all, it’s free!
Singapore Arts Festival 25 MAY – 24 JUNE 2007
is back with nature for a week.