‘Me, Myself & I’, by Riikka Laakso

Verónica Garzón begins her solo Panopticon with a paused movement phrase, interrupted constantly by precisely articulated gestures of legs, arms and hands that suggest an increasing anxiety. A loose sporty jacket covers – and protects – her body, but also offers material for various characters that manipulating the garment allows to emerge from the same body. Garzón plays with the impact of being looked at, with the vulnerability hidden under numerous masks. When she takes off the jacket, like a snake shedding its skin, a dense flow of movement starts to mould her body. But the metamorphosis only develops half-way: the dancer’s true skin remains the same during the entire solo.

The gaze is also approached in Melodie Cecchini’s solo ¡Ponte Recto!, but from a playfully theatrical point of view. Audience members – a man and a woman – are invited on stage, while the performer explains the contradiction between ‘social pressure’ and ‘real interest’: the learned and the innate. Brief but intense movement phrases appear “just to show that I can dance”, to ironically fulfil the audience’s expectations of a choreography. Still, the nervous spectators on stage seem to capture more gazes that the performer herself, taking the role of a comedienne commenting on the entertaining, and pleasurably confusing, performative moment.

In her solo Lara Brown proposes a game: programming the timer of her mobile phone, she allows different body parts to take over for a determined time. A restless right hand gradually infects the left, expanding its unruly energy through the twirling column into the entire organism. Experimenting with oppositions and indicating similarities – scoping the mouth and the vulva with her hands, or both arms reaching through the same sleeve of the stretching shirt – her gyrating hips dislocate the body with awkward and grotesque constructions. Ser devenir as the title of the solo sets high expectations for all those familiar with Deleuze, that might be hard to reach in such a short time, proposing a destruction of a quite fashionable body image, generated by skinny jeans and a crop top.

 

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