The best piece of art is one the viewer can relate to, medicine but given the highbrow nature of the old masters’ paintings and the modern work you find in the Tate, finding a connection can be a tricky task. After all, it is only human nature to try to make sense of things.
Contemporary dance often seems like art form that exists for a small elitist group of people who understand the stories the dancers tell with their bodies and movement. However, with their latest performance Pictures We Make, the Manchester-based dance group Company Chameleon has created an unusually accessible choreography that invites the audience to identify themselves with the dancers and their experiences.
The double-bill quartet – a show consisting of two independent performances, involving 4 dancers – was actually a trio as one of the dancers and choreographer of the second piece Pictures We Make, Kevin Turner, was injured; however, the remaining three artists effortlessly managed to convey the spirit of the pieces as if they were produced for only them.
The first performance Eden, co-choreographed by dancer Gemma Nixon, explored the internal life of human emotions, thoughts and feelings, hidden away from the world, but living inside everyone of us. Happiness, affection, the endless search for the self- these were only a few themes the dancer skilfully brought to life, accompanied by the diverse and always fitting musical scope by John Matthias and Andrew Prior.
The second eponymous part of the show was based on the lives and experiences of the dancers themselves, so the audience was naturally drawn to interpret the story unfolding on stage, wondering what it was that moved the lives of these people right in front of them. The performance was seemingly based on a love story, full of jealousy and desperation, that felt marvellously familiar to anyone who has ever been in a similar situation.
Apart from their great expressive abilities, the dancers Anthony Missen, Gemma Nixon and Elena Thomas proved their talent in their unconventional, yet gripping style of dance, being smooth and controlled in their all of their lifts, poses and movement. With the frugal costumes and set design, the performance left enough room for the viewer’s own interpretations to make it an equally accessible and wondrous piece of contemporary dance.
For more information about shows at the Northern Stage, visit their website: http://www.northernstage.co.uk/