Emanuel Gat Dance Company (Festival page)
Emanuel Gat Dance Company @ The Playhouse
6:00pm, Sun 2 Mar 2008
I was really looking forward to this. No idea why, I just was. And the initial signs were good – the first piece, Winter Voyage, features Emanuel Gat and Roy Assaf strolling, running, jumping across the stage in straight lines, often intersecting each others paths and avoiding contact with a deft flick of the arm or leg. Then closer, mimicking each other’s moves, in a beautifully trance-like exploration of the space. Though set to two pieces of Schubert’s Winterreise, the music was separated on all sides by periods of silence (delightful – I love hearing the thumping of the floors and the dancer’s panting). A great start to the performance.
The second piece, however, was seven shades of self-indulgent suck. Gat – solo this time – roams fore and aft of a line of light at the front of the stage. The music – John Coltrane’s version of the titular My Favourite Things – could have been fifteen minutes of radio static for all the connection it had to the performance, and the dance didn’t engage me in the slightest. Boooooring.
The final piece, The Rite of Spring, was equal parts delight and meh. Assaf rejoins Gat onstage with three female dancers, and the periods where the women were lined up parallel to the stagefront and the men moved between them, engaging each in more intricate movements. These moments were genuinely exciting, and were repeated many times during The Rite of Spring; however, the bits inbetween were – again – intolerably dull.
Sadly, the Emanuel Gat Dance Company didn’t live up to my expectations. There was just way too much stuff that I couldn’t recognise as dance in there.