Thu 19 May 2016
Five men sit on stage, they take up the space, their breaths get more audible, their chairs break and the floor disappears from underneath them.
I feel a sense throughout Planites of trying to move forward while being pulled back. It’s noticeable in the opening, in the first glances of movement, and then continues throughout. The breath stands out to me. And in their collective movements I visualize a diaphragm contracting and retracting.
They come together in a way that seems to be influenced by so many different places, styles and things. I’m aware of their masculinity and their strength and in awe of their unity. They separate at times, but mainly they are one unit.
It’s frantic, angry and high energy, and for me at times uncomfortable. The uncontrollable shivering, the use of sounds, grunts, moans, the sounds of bodies hitting off other bodies. It’s harsh and hectic. The fighting for what you believe in, the petty fighting, the big guns. There is so much fear too. In the opening half, the performers follow each other whispering boo, an obvious representation of this emotion, but I also feel it in other places and movements and perhaps it’s stronger when not so laid out for us.
And then there is humour and heart; it trickles in at first but towards the end it’s felt more - a perfect feeling of a house and what that means to us, a place to wash, to eat, to grow, to be happy, a dream maybe? And at the end, after all the emotions have been choreographed, the five dancers stand on stage emptying their pockets of debris and of photographs, toys, memories, the superficial aspects of holding on and where we come from.
I related to the performer standing centre stage trying to get his point across in an inaudible language. A foreigner, a kind of outsider. A sense of not belonging perhaps. I can’t help but think of all the many people displaced in the world today, but also it’s so relevant to anyone that moves and travels. Cities and places can be so overwhelming when you don't belong and what they do here with dance, light, music and movement is to show us that.
Find out more about Katie's work at katiejanesanderson.com.