Within This Dust: Smallpetitklein Dance Company @ Dance Base
Inspired by Richard Drew's photographs of a man falling from the World Trade Center, this is a memorial to those who died on 9/11. Inevitably the question of whether a piece is exploitative and insensitive arises. Thankfully, Within This Dust avoids this pitfall.
Using documentary audio recordings, film, animation and on-stage speech as well as dance, it honours the overwhelming horror by starting with silence and stillness. On a dark stage, is a spot-lit heap of white letters. Almost hidden is a young girl clasping more letters. This image is held for so long, it allows us to meditate on its significance – letters unsent to lost loved ones, or the office letters, which were the only thing to survive the falling towers: everything else reduced to dust.
The piece is a series of images. Video images of whirling dancers, and later an animation of paper floating through blue skies is an evocative, subtle handling of its central theme: those who fell. A live duet suggests the poignant last farewell, unknown to them, of two lovers. A brave piece which also takes some courage to watch.