4TELL is a dance project about dancers revealing the story behind the creation of a new dance project – 4TELL. Indeed, this is metafiction in dance form.
FORM Dance Projects and Riverside Theatres presented 4TELL from 27th - 29th October. In 2009, youMove dance company began to build 4TELL into a unique dance project, because not only was it a collection of dances for artists to gain experience and learn from, it was a self-reflective and motivational outlet for these dancers to release their emotions back into the art that they love.
Kay Armstrong, the curator and artistic director, created a blog site for the dancers to disclose their emotions and experience as young artists while working on 4TELL. These thoughts were then performed as monologues in between the dances. Armstrong says, "I also want to encourage the act of writing, particularly about an art form that is usually embodied without words and understood by either the act of doing or watching." The 7 dancers were not only the performers and deliverers of a choreographed artwork under the direction of Armstrong; they were the vital ingredients that also influenced the content of the project.
In the five dances, the dancers mimicked the self assembly that is witnessed in nature.
Boundaries, by Ian Colless and composed by Madeleine Johns, was a blend of The Dreaming, the Post Colonialism and the future (the mechanical world). This piece was composed and choreographed so neatly it was hard to tell whether the music or the moves came first. It just fit. The past, present and future were mixed, with sounds of the traditional calls that gradually transformed into electronic sounds, and movement that flowed incessantly yet at the same time were non-traditional and carried uneasiness.
By Looking, by Kevin Previtt and composed by Dean English, was an amazing piece consisting of dancers who seemed to be moving on their own accord, yet by some cosmic coincidence were able to fit together into an overall dance. In a particular instance, one dancer was in the spotlight performing a solo. But in the shadows in front of her were three other dancers posing as one creature and mimicking the soloist's every move.
3rd Time Over, choreographed and performed by Angela French, is a solo work "based around the concept of subconscious recollection and conscious dismissal of thoughts." This was a personal piece. Fragments of the same sequence of moves appeared in and out of this dance, portraying frustration as the dancer tried to contain and control the wild movements that kept occurring over and over again. Perhaps we can relate to the frustration we all have with ourselves when we cannot achieve what we need to achieve – and we cannot explain why either.
Last Place to Go, by David Williams, was a duet piece dealing with the themes of human contact and romance. A "real time emotional journey" of a relationship between a male and female, a cycle of yearning, pulling in, and then pushing away occurred. The bittersweet cycle was insightful of the unwillingness to let go or learn because of our emotional attachments and scepticism of such attachments.
Multiplicity, by Anton, is the closing piece featuring six dancers in red, yellow and blue sweaters moving in a staggered, mechanical style. They were nearly reminiscent of pixels in primary colours shifting about. "The choreography embodies motion moving in the form of multiple moments; a cluster group that skips, cuts, dashes, breaks away, forms and reforms."
The dances were enjoyable and intelligent, and performed, choreographed and created by highly skilled people in their field. I will be looking forward to other contemporary dances by youMove.
And even though I'm not a dancer, I found the posts in the blog and the monologues performed quite relatable. I suppose there must be something universal about the human penchant for the progress towards a goal, and not just the end.