Dance, an in particular contemporary dance, can be an intimidating genre for the uninitiated. As Scotland’s national centre for dance, Dance Base offers a solid programme that is largely accessible to novices whilst simultaneously rewarding for aficionados. This diptych follows in that established tradition.
Smallpetitklein’s contemporary solo Falling Man takes as its inspiration Richard Drew’s photos of a man falling from the twin towers during the 9/11 attacks. Tom Pritchard is the sole performer, by turns graceful and spasmodic in his prolonged descent. Simple but atmospheric lighting contributes to the mood of despair and Pritchard’s words contribute substantially to the emotional power.
Falling Man has an emotional immediacy which communicates itself directly to its audience without any need for added interpretation.
The second work, Decreasing Infinity, is a male duet created by Balbir Singh. Here, dancers Ezekiel Oliveira and Sooraj Subramanian are accompanied by live improvised music courtesy of table player John Ball and beatboxer Bigg Taj. The dancers merge classical north Indian Kathak and contemporary dance so seamlessly that it is often impossible to tell where one style stops and the other begins, and indeed the combination creates a new style unique to this piece
Oliveira and Subramanian move with stunning fluidity and precision, and the movement is inextricably woven through with the perfectly-suited music and sound effects provided by Ball and Taj to create a mesmerising, rhythmic experience.
Falling Man has already had considerable press, but Decreasing Infinity gets the warmer reception at this performance. Both are intimate, accessible pieces that would offer an ideal introduction to the art form.
5-21 August (not 8, 15) times vary @ Dance Base