REVIEW | Eclipse & Jinx 103 | IDFB

International Dance Festival Birmingham

As part of International Dance Festival Birmingham (IDFB), last night two performances joined together to create a production of high-quality and innovatively choreographed dance.

The first performance is from two men Józef Trefoil & Gábor Varga who choreographed and perform their piece titled Jinx103. Upon arrival, you are invited to sit in a circle around the stage, which instantly creates an immersive style of performance. Both performers welcome you on stage and wander around, enabling the audience to anticipate what is about to happen.

Suddenly the men switch and begin to whisper in Hungarian to the audience and they circle around them, creating a disconcerting feeling. As this intensifies and they move quicker and speak louder, music is introduced, very quietly and stagnantly, but enough to create a pulsating opening to the performance. They then begin littering the stage with striped red and white tape, throwing it over the audience and creating a circle of colour. The tape is used to connect with each other, this is the first moment in the performance they notice each other and use their bodies and the tape to interweave within one another.

The music then begins to heighten and strengthen in terms of volume and rhythm, this is then echoed in the performers. The dance becomes a series of simultaneous movement, they begin subtlety using their bodies to create sound, mirroring each other to create a beat. Their vibrant use of body percussion becomes powerful and engaging as all their energy is thrown into creating stunning sounds and dynamic movement. The stamping, slapping, intricate footwork and high kicks mould together to create a captivating and magnetic performance.

Eclipse, choreographed by Csaba Molnár, creates a performance that tells a story. The piece is an exploration of rave culture and nightlife, delving into the emotional side and expressing the common stereotypes. It is interesting as an audience member to be on the outside, looking into the rave and how people act and react. It begins with many dancers appearing on stage, dancing minimally, yet very much keeping themselves to themselves. As the music’s vibrations amplify, the dancers submerge themselves into an uncontrollable state of dance, portraying a sense of freedom.

Without connecting with each other, each dancer is very self contained which displays electric energy on stage and emphasises their lack of control over themselves. Once the rave has reached a level, the dancers form together and move in sync, creating a formidable energy that binds them together.

Molnár cleverly directs a moment in the piece about love, and the grief of love and how it collectively connects us. When the party is over and we are blinded by daylight, there is a shift in emotion and we are unable to deafen our thoughts with the music. This is expressed in a comedic way as the dancers use iconic lines from songs about love and dramatically lip sync them, as if they are having a conversation together.

Both performances are fresh and display a new wave of contemporary avant-garde choreography.

Find all the events and performances taking place at International Dance Festival Birmingham on the website.

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