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How everything in dance is about relationships and a glass of wine can bridge gaps

If there is one subject that has been endlessly elaborated on in dance, it is the many ways in which people form relationships with each other. Nevertheless, it is good that Moving Futures has put this theme firmly at the centre of the third day of the festival. It is inexhaustible, can always inspire in new ways and can even be picked up in a solo act.

Familiarity and withdrawal

It has something of a lost paradise, the relationship Aïda Guirro Salinas and Jefta Tanate portray in their choreography Nautural. The way they lie on the floor and take turns crawling over each other: it has something of the warmth you feel around you when you sleep. Together in a familiar languid mood that should always be allowed to continue. Their crawling on the floor also reminds me of waves rolling from the endless sea onto the dry beach.

But then suddenly the bang, the break-up. It hurts, the separation of the two, but at the same time I feel a sparkling energy coming out. They are totally geared up to find each other again. But that will be tussling! They have lost the familiarity. Can they still get used to each other?

photo Thomas Lenden

Pleasantly stubborn

Their plodding quest produces exciting images. There are so many ways you can keep each other going. Or move through space spinning together. They are resourceful at it. But it just won't get comfortable. Yet it is not a heavy drama. For that, communication has too many soft edges. Space. That's what you crave when you see them wriggling up, around, under and next to each other. So they stand a long way apart. But does it still work out when the hands are pointing in opposite directions? It looks beautiful. Two pleasantly stubborn people, each choosing their own direction and finding that the other can best go along with it.


Directly on Nautural follow four short films by Cinedans. Nice that there is room in this festival for dance films! It shows how many creative possibilities lie in the combination of dance and film. And in doing so, the theme of the day determined the selection here too.

Facing happiness

Gleichweight/Keeping Balance shows that interpersonal relationships can also be so sad that loneliness is a liberation. A girl lets herself get into a kind of dance-trance in the undulating spins of a carousel, blowing away from her oppressive surroundings, towards happiness.

The power of limitation

At The Battle Kayah Guenther, an artist with Down syndrome, dances with another dancer. Breaking through the limitations his body places on him, he calls himself "powerful". However laboriously he speaks, that word is exactly what you feel with the dance images. He finds the power to portray himself as a unique person and build perfect harmony with his dance partner.

Film editing as a choreographic tool

My Brother's Room and Jump prove how beautifully it can work when film editing becomes part of the choreography. So not registrations of dance, but editing as an inseparable part of the visual game. In My Brother's Room a dreamy spatiality is created with blending images of two dancers in a beautiful house. In Jump the short shots of a jumping man turn out to be a comic striptease act.

photo Thomas Lenden

Instant Body Feedback

In the interval, dancer Junadry Leocaria gives an instant reaction to Nautural. Fascinating the way she twists her arms together, concentrating the intimacy of the two dancers from Nautural in her body. And then the power with which she makes pointing gestures in space. It is incredibly beautiful the way Leocaria dances this short act with her supple body.

Wavering defenselessly

A wondrous experience is In Memory of a Projection by choreographer Guilherme Miotto. Between two rows of luminous poles, three women stagger across the floor. They radiate defencelessness. As if they are being nudged by invisible beings from outside. As if their arms and heads are being pulled with invisible strings. They look like they are rebelling with wildly shooting pulses of movement, but it could just as well be that they are being pushed and pulled harder. For a moment, it is reminiscent of a movie played too fast. Funny, then. But it is ultimately painful. They get something cramped, panicky. Exhausting it is. There is no escape.

photo Thomas Lenden

A few seconds of togetherness

They do respond to each other, but only seem to confirm each other in their subjugated state. They are lonely prisoners of one and the same fate. They don't seem to get around to rapport or solidarity. Until they suddenly line up close to each other. It only lasts a few seconds. A portrait of togetherness. As if briefly touching on the theme of the evening. Precisely because of this brevity and because it is such an island amidst the cramped walking and turning, this moment is moving. And hurts when the women scatter again.

Pass the Glass

It took me effort to connect with this performance, although the images continued to pass through my mind clearly afterwards. The Moving Futures festival encourages contact between audience and dancers/choreographers with its Pass the Glass campaign. Anyone who engages in conversation with the theatre-makers, giving them an impression of how the performance comes across, receives a glass of wine. To investigate where that sense of distance came from, I decided to speak to Guilherme Miotto and the three performers. After telling them how the making process had gone, they asked me to tell them what I had experienced. While talking, it turned out that the performance had evoked a lot in me after all. This made it possible to read the above piece about In Memory of a Projection write. And the wine tasted fine.

photo Thomas Lenden

The evening ended with allure with a feast, with a richly dressed Indian ushering in the dancing.

Good to know

For the final day of this festival, see the programme.

Maarten Baanders

Free-lance arts journalist Leidsch Dagblad. Until June 2012 employee Marketing and PR at the LAKtheater in Leiden.View Author posts

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