Recovering from the bliss of the previous night’s endeavours, it was time for the second day at Experimentica. It’s curious to see how these two shows had similar themes and shared ideas today.
The collaborative work between Angus McLean Balbernie was the start to the evening and creates a lot of conversation afterworlds. 343 m/s featured three performers, one of which who is blind find their way and make sense of sight and the other senses. How touching to see a blind performer be able to dance so confidently around the studio, an elongated atrium in this instance. Whilst the two others fuse with him, each bring their own humour, choreography and charm. The real marker for the piece is the encouragement given and how blindness or any other condition should never stop you from being what you want to be.
Whilst there is much to speak highly, there are few concerns remain. It is slightly overstayed it welcome, repeating ideas and scenarios and the mass of fathers used in the show should come with an allergy warning (I was hacking my brains out in one instance).
Also the consent with how much of this is the blind dancer doing what he wants and what the others want him to do is also raised. Should you really glare a torch into a blind person’s eyes? Myself and others questioned this afterworlds. Whilst the show has its heart in the right place (with plenty of humour on offer as well), it just need that tweet to make it a more well oiled machine.
In keeping with theme of sounds in space, there was more demanding audience requirements for SEEK – PRAY – ADVANCE by Megan Broadmeadow. Each audience member is summoned into the space by hooded figures and we are told to stand on a designated cross. Motor like ethereal whooshing booms above us as the performance begins. Each figure sings around us in a 360° to create an visceral, unforgiving void.
Feeling like on a forgotten work of Luigi Nono, it was easy to compare this to dogmatic favour seen in centuries past in the Catholic Church or even within a cult. This Sci-Fi choir made for some fascinating acoustic firework. A theremin was also a nice touch as was the conductor signalling each singer in and out. How easy to was in triggering excruciating Misophonia and even ASMR in some instances, such was the power this choir possess. We expect another visitation form this alien choir in the future.
Experimentica continues at Chapter Arts Centre till 15th April 2018.
James Ellis plays the Vexations by Erik Satie at St Canna’s Ale House at 14th April 2018 at 4pm. Donations to OCD UK. All welcome.