Review

The BELLY of the Beast – Csaba Molnar and Marco Torrice: KITTY 2012

Image credit: Camilla GreenwellImage credit: Camilla Greenwell

FERNANDA MUÑOZ-NEWSOME 

From dark into light, dramatic to formal, from nudity to the comic and from sex to death, Molnar and Torrice’s whirlwind of images spiral literally in and out of the darkness, jumping into focus from different corners of the stage to reveal and reframe views on the human condition in a post-apocalyptic world.

As in a dream the images come and go from nowhere. The juxtaposition of these ever-changing scenes can catch you laughing off-guard or drop you into a hole of darkness and despair. I enjoyed the idea that meanings and scenes can be pieced together carefully and suddenly collapsed in a heap at one’s feet. This kept me on the edge of my seat and I found myself becoming at one moment swept away and, at another, angry.

Garai, the one female dancer alongside Molnar, Torrice and Vass, remained an isolated character, and she was seen from a male gaze as the objectified woman: the one to be kissed, the one being supported in a particular pose or movement, the one getting bonked, the one connected to household appliances and chores. All this we have seen before. This bothered me as a way of presenting a female among males, but perhaps this was because she was outnumbered. In my annoyance I was suddenly swept to a completely new image and feeling of all four dancers linking arms and smiling open faced at each other.

In Molnar and Torrice’s skills of knowing how, when, and with which ingredient to edit their work, I found that the piece became stronger and stronger, the schizophrenic parts all held together darkly and with intensity by Ruiz Soler’s soundtrack, keeping the dream-sense alive.

I left the theatre that evening with the piece whirling in my mind.


 

Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome is a working dance artist and choreographer in London. She is currently collaborating with composer Nena Zinovieff, making a commissioned work for the band Savages and in the past working with visual artist’s Eddie Peake, (Turner Prize nominee) Spartacus Chetwynd and Charlie Hope. Fernanda also wrote about William William.


HELENA WEBB

KITTY 2012 opens in darkness with a lone male voice singing a folk song in a foreign language. I am immediately hopeful; I am partial to a bit of singing in the dark, especially a folk song sung by a beautiful voice. But then a spotlight comes brightly on and a man steps forward seemingly in agony and the confusion starts. KITTY 2012 is set in a “post-apocalyptic atmosphere” according to the blurb. This perhaps explains the man in pain and later the corpses being dragged across the space and maybe even the folk song (pre-apocalypse) but it doesn’t explain the samples of Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and other notable choreographers of the last century. However, following my rule of never reading the blurb first, I didn’t know of the choreographers’ intentions.

The performers tilted and contracted across the space dancing as if their lives depended on it. Every movement was at its most expansive and expressive, the technique was spot on and the dancers seemed assured of their skill. A particularly gymnastic duet between the female performer and one of the men was surprising and sleek in equal amounts. There was a beautiful laundry sequence, where sheets were shaken so vigorously that water droplets shimmered in the air and were then pegged onto an imaginary washing line only to land with a satisfying wet slap on the ground.

But truly, until the entrance of the remote controlled washing machine on wheels I was lost, the machine giving me a hint of clarity. It occurred to me that the whole thing could be mockery, a collection of all the things they like least in contemporary dance: dated technique for no reason, the female performer only having thoughtful, sexual or menial roles to perform, nudity and sex used to “shock” etc. An earlier moment of a couple kissing only to be pulled apart in slow motion was almost redeemed in the light of my new ironic premise. But the washing machine came too late and I was left not knowing who to believe – the dancers, the programme notes or myself.


 

Helena Webb is a freelance dancer and choreographer based in London. Her interests lie in the space between doer and watcher. She is currently working on Dad Dancing and is researching aspirations of flight with Emelie Wangstedt. Helena also wrote about KITTY 2012.

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