Courtney McCarthy, Chandenie Gobardhan & Matthew Harding at Resolution Festival 2022 | Review

Words by Giada Palmisano. Watched on 20 May at Resolution 2022, The Place.

Youth, naivety, and simplicity encompass the world behind Courtney McCarthy’s Sketch. Two dancers dressed in pure white smile at each other with dreamy and carefree eyes, together inside a light and fluid movement language. Accompanying their performance is the projection of a visual design: through a play of shadows and a call to our inner child, the gentle animated drawings interact with the two protagonists, among which are a dog, a paper airplane, and a cloud. At a certain point, the element of rain disturbs the projected images, and the white background becomes black. But the two dancers continue the impeccable journey of an innocent dancing life – it brought me back to adolescent memories where I had cultivated true friendships, those resilient enough to pass through eddies and storms.

Sketch. Photo credit: Amber Tanc.

The second performance, CREATOR by Chandanie Gobardhan, catapults us into a completely different world – a mystical world and at times frightening, in the positive sense of the term. Emanating a sense of balance and vibrational neutrality, the introductory sound of the OM contrasts with the sudden reveal of two demonic-looking creatures. Among the different elements that made them so – apart from the minimalist play of lights and pitch darkness – are the tiny movements of their heads that change direction in a sharp, unexpected way while their bodies remain motionless in a position halfway between sitting and standing. Their arms rest firmly on their knees, in recall of a revisited meditative position; they too are ready to move rigidly like some sort of alien animal. In an atmosphere full of suspense, I wondered what would happen from one moment to the next: where their bodies would reappear and suddenly disappear into thin air, and what would be the next move to break the predictable? Would their eyes, their gaze come out of the dark, eventually? Did I even want to see them re-appear? This performance manages to include only a few choreographic elements in an extremely intelligent and insightful way. Gobardhan’s work is deceptively simple but in fact precious, transporting us into a perfect blend of power, strength, and combativeness within a veil of fascinating mystery. CREATOR left me astonished.

Still of Matthew Harding

Between the second and third act, the audience is invited out of the theatre towards the foyer where wine and snacks are served. Once rearranged in our seats, we notice a dramatic scenographic change: all the curtains and wings have been removed from the stage. The seven dancers of Mathew Harding’s street dance performance Every1 Knows Nothing, paradoxically make their debut with a slow-motion plie. Moments of stillness, slowness, and suspension alternate with moments of chaos and dynamism. Accompanied by specific movements, the constantly present groove even seems to recall the style of choreographer Hofesh Shechter. At one point, a newspaper travels between the dancers, who pass it from hand to hand, at times destroying it. While continuing to exchange positions, they create small and large choreographic groups with solo moments in an uninterrupted, andante motion. Here, it is clear how Harding plays with the interchangeability of leadership in a social crowd. Every1 Knows Nothing is a sparkling and well-structured choreography that captivates us in a social, contemporary hip-hop experience.