I’m a big fan of Contact and it’s programme, but recently, there’s been a particularly strong line up of events, Moving Dance Forward being one of them. Tonight was comprised of two ‘work in progress’ pieces fro emerging artists and the stand out Joseph Lau with “Age of Ledger”. His animalistic movements represented beautiful power struggles in a money hungry world and interesting uses of simple props really made the pieces a pleasure to watch. A simple bowl attached to the face turned into a vacant expression similar to that of a soldier, a curious animal, or all the other little bits of Lau in between. A box on his head was a sign of madness, fragility, strength, hopelessness.
Of course, a work in progress will never be well structured or sometimes coherent and that was apparent in Christopher Owen’s work. Moments of wonderful movement provided some promising signs. Some segments were beautifully choreographed but his struggle was realised through the audience and also in his humble speech after the performance.
Last was an outside, interactive dance which incorporated sound, technology and costume. The prototype was beautiful and the potential was definitely there, resounding in our curious quietness. A small explanation before hand suggested that the piece would be suited to festivals and as a transitional interaction rather than being performed to a static audience but it was a strange but lovely and I’m looking forward to seeing it in full.
Contact has a real knack for finding and nurturing new talent and making a real effort to understand what it is to connect all stretches of artistry and this is what keeps me going back. All in all, a mixed bag of quality from the choreographers but a fresh and exciting look at Manchester talent.