A Fragile Geography: STATE
In a State controlled by power, money and fear, citizens believe they enjoy a freedom that they do not really possess. The way they move, cry, smile and wait does not belong to them anymore. Emotion does not exist, there is no place for it. Two people perform their show, twice a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Their movements are robotic, mechanical, there is nothing they can control because they control nothing: they have become automatons. The only thing that seems to be able to release them are the memories in which human emotion seems to be discovered through the traditional dance of previous generations that have already left.
REVIEW by Chloe Snelgrove
STATE is a chapter of work from Daniel Navarro Lorenzo’s A Fragile Geography. Performed live and streamed digitally from Dancebase in Edinburgh. STATE is a tangible conversation between two bodies who explore the nature of belonging, and how power can dominate physical instinct and connection.
The two dancers, Daniel and Mary Mannion, inhabit the performance space. Their bodies are physically connected yet emotionally detached, constantly avoiding one another’s gaze. As they shift between supporting and being supported, they become entangled as one image, as if they are two parts of the same thing. The movement is grounded, as if the body is almost stuck in a place it has no power over.
Within this grounded state and enriched experience of togetherness, the dancers both resonate with a desire for an alternate reality to the one they inhabit. The spellbinding shapes of their mingling limbs, passing through repeated motions of stillness and vigour, move swiftly from tension to release and back again. This dynamic use of tension, effortlessly converging with momentary release, produces a tentative dialogue throughout the duet through their shared state. This feature of the choreography provides the opportunity for contemplating the notion of belonging and its confliction between true identity, and, furthermore, how influences of power can affect present actions and ultimately who you are.
Despite the conventional female and male partnering within the piece, which could lead to predictability, the dancers absorbed the attention of the audience through the oscillating rhythm of their bodies, continuously meeting and departing. The dancers move like magnets, unravelling from one another’s limbs, equipped to then fuse back together again. The choreography itself ripples in worm-like motions, swiftly transforming from explosive jumps to surges of slow motion. Recurrent themes of power and oppression greet the eye constantly throughout the piece within the repeated use of the head, or weighty and dynamic hands came up and over the body, pushing the other to the ground in a forceful and repeated action. This visual image of physicalised oppression intensifies the emergent tension within the piece, whilst leaving an abundant space for imagination and wonder.
Overall, STATE is a dynamic and intriguing piece, which negotiates internal experiences through physicalised and embodied responses. Within these responses, the performance allows the audience to contemplate what forms state and power take on, leading to a universal understanding that power marks the body.
Writer Biography: Chloe Snelgrove is a dance artist, a writer, and a training yoga teacher based in the South East. She has a degree in dance and her work specialises in the contemporary dance and looks at the intrinsic links between nature and the moving body.
Dancers: Daniel Navarro Lorenzo,
Laura García Aguilera, Maria Palliani and Mary Mannion.
Music: Motoc by Loscil, Hubble by Actress