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Pieces for Small Spaces was Lucy Guerin Inc.’s first curated season of mixed works, developed and shown in the choreographer’s rehearsal space. Although the intimacy of the room might suggest a studio showing, most of the pieces used lighting, music and costumes, testimony to performance as performance (rather than, for example, process). Perhaps because it was the first piece to be shown in a context of emerging artists, Under Your Skin by Kyle Kremerskothen seemed to raise creative questions regarding what to do, what choices to exhibit and explore. Interactions between 2 dancers posed issues of agency; whether the motivation to move arises from the outside, a point on the body, a body part or between bodies. This was a work of relationships in motion, with moments of rupture in tempo and dancerly clarity.

Byron Perry opted for object driven pathos in a creative and entertaining drama between TV and partner. With a television monitor on his head throughout, Perry and Kirstie McCracken danced a duet of control, influence and romance. What was nice was the fealty exhibited towards the object as TV, on the one hand, versus anthropomorphic interpretation, on the other. Sometimes McCracken would relate to the TV as a TV, fiddling with its controls, generating differences of content through channel surfing. And sometimes she would partner “it”, so that the relationship between the 2 was also played out as a human duet. Gogglebox benefited from the longstanding dancing relationship between the two.

Adam Wheeler adopted a Brecht-with-charm approach, introducing each section of A Tale of Soz and Snuf with hand-painted placards. This was an ambitious work that promised to transform the everyday of a haircut into a Dr Strangelove world of madcap eccentricity. I have the feeling that this piece requires big time props that, in the meantime, the audience had to imagine. Its nicest moment came in the form of Wheeler and Susan van den Ham standing, grinning in front of their audience, placard in hand: The End.

Jo Lloyd has used her very own off-beat energy for some time in making work. Mute was danced with Tim Harvey who has danced with Lloyd in many of Shelley Lasica’s works. Lloyd combined large movements that criss-crossed the space with the smallest gestures. Something elastic and glutinous connected the performers as they traversed the room with sustained and intricate kinaesthetic input.

Shannon Bott’s Hang On was the most poignant of all the pieces. Bott and Jacob Lehrer performed the simplest of movements, each dancer showing him/herself through bounces which slowly moved them towards their audience. They weren’t hidden by ‘dancing’ but revealed themselves as individuals in motion. There was text, and other things, but it was their direct and vulnerable expression which I found moving and optimistic.

Finally Antony Hamilton’s scare show, Species for Small Spaces, was an hilarious closing act for the night. This was truly site specific, creating multiple scenes of horror in the back rooms of Guerin’s studio. We were allowed in only a few at a time. I was dragged in by the wrist and the door slammed behind me, no doubt for making loud jokes. I knew something horrible was in the shower—I saw it through the glass. An involuntary scream nevertheless escaped my lips when the doors slid open. Luckily, I didn’t wet my pants.

Pieces for Small Spaces, curated by Lucy Guerin Inc.; Lucy Guerin Inc. Rehearsal Studio, Southbank, Oct 4-8

RealTime issue #70 Dec-Jan 2005 pg. 38

© Philipa Rothfield; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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