The fourth program of the 20th Festival of New Dance opened last night with “kor’e-o’lis,” a duet choreographed by Andrea Tucker and performed by Mark Bath and Tammy MacLeod.
MacLeod, in a sleeveless green top with ruffled edging and cropped trousers, and Bath, in a shirt and jeans, stand apart, aligned, swaying gently, looking upwards.
They deliver a series of lines, unrelated, and nonsense in themselves: “Same old rain falling.” “The vein of an onion.” “Pulled by a moon of four hundred volcanos.” “Look up.” This disconnected word salad starts repeating itself, and coming a little faster, the two voices overlapping. Then Bath falls to his side, and MacLeod begin to move, accompanied by Bell Orchestra’s “As Seen Through Windows.”
At first, MacLeod’s feet stay in place and the rest of her body swings and bends in large, smooth actions. This flow continues, her feet now shifting, as Bath turns on his back and looks up through a ‘frame’ he has made of his hands, like someone isolating a particular cloud in a sky. MacLeod gets faster, the arc of her motion increasing, as she jumps, sits, balances herself. Bath uses his feet to propel himself, still prone, around her and then he joins her; they roll, lean together, look through their own and each other’s cupped hands, move backwards, send their arms pinwheeling, watch each other, embrace each other, chase each other, and pause and rock together.
This was followed by a brief, mesmerizing performance by Mira Hunter. She is a whirling dervish, in the true spiritual, even ecstatic sense. This was staged in the downstairs space, where a circle of baby powder had been sprinkled on the floor. Hunter entered quietly, wearing a dark cloak and a white headdress. With the music starting (“This Unfolds”, by Four Tet, hypnotic and lovely and a perfect fit in tone and beat), she took off the cloak to show a long white skirt and white top and jacket. She began to turn.
Immediately her skirt became a bell, and a wheel. Continuously spinning in one direction, she introduced very simple physical changes. One arm would come up. Her torso would quickly, lightly bow. Her hands would come near her face, then drop again. A wrist would be held to her forehead. The dance was a constant progression, spare, fine, unfussy and resonant.
Hunter will be conducting a free workshop today, at the Cochrane Street United Church. For more information check the NDW website, www.neighbourhooddanceworks.com or call 722.3663. Hunter will also be giving free, outside performances at different locales — the NDW always likes to give the public a glimpse of their artists.
Also on this program is Jennifer Mascall’s “WhaT?,” a solo piece, choreographed in collaboration with Ron Stewart and performed by Stewart.
The NDW’s fifth and final program starts Friday and includes Louise Moyes (“St. John’s Women”), Gwen Noah (“OK”) and Tristan Rehner (“Kitchen”). Curtain time is 8 p.m., and the place to be is the LSPU Hall.