Base Elements @ Dance Base
Through two very contrasting performers, Base Elements revives the origins of contemporary dance and presents a thoroughly modern conflict. Lucy Suggate covers the twenty-first century anxiety between the reality and the imagined, as Jody Sperling's Time Lapse Dance recreates the spectacle of Loie Fuller's fabric-swirling solos.
Sperling's five pieces, spanning elements from Earth to Ether, are both historically fascinating and elegantly dramatic. Using 100 yards of silk, her costume is spun out into spirals and blossoms around her body, driven by her rotations and runs. Entrancing and beautiful, it is a naive homage to a pioneer first breaking from the polite boundaries of the ninetenth century, and taking tentative steps towards new forms.
Lucy Suggate's two offerings - Liquid Gold and Latin Beach focus on the body. Latin Beach is twitchy and discomforting, as Suggate's dishevelled showgirl costume, wig and taped face mock the external glamour of dance with the rigid discipline hidden behind the apparent grace. Suggate's movements evoke both the fluidity of eastern forms and the awkwardness of a body compelled into unnatural shapes.
Using the slippage between the fantasy of the dancer, and the meathook reality of training and restraint, Suggate captures the liminal space between elegant facade and interior conflict: her virtuousity celebrates dance even as she questions the price that it has taken from her.