The way L U C I D works not only within the realms of dance and choreography but that it outwardly employs methods that would perhaps be more at home in a theatrical production, all time drawing on “the digital era” as stimulus, yet somehow managing to re-invent the wheel- is perhaps the key to its success. If contemporary dance does choose to continue to embrace and harness the potentials of modern technology to further progress the form, then let L U C I D be the very definition of how to do this right,
It explores some pretty complex subject matter, the way in which humans interact and counteract with each other is central to the narrative explored by both Stephen Phillips and Lauren Langlois who give their all to this challenging performance. Both surrender to this all together surreal and imposed world created by choreographer and director Anouk van Dijk. It is a rich and sumptuous visual affair full of metaphor and recognisable iconography that together creates something other worldly, dense and at times frightening, such is the truth behind this portrayal.
L U C I D intelligently works with technology in a way that forces a sense of duality on our focus as an audience the resulting effect could, in the best possible way be described as testing. At one moment, focus is directed towards the performers, then only a split second later, it shifts to be fixed upon one of several screens that become activated throughout the performance. The lighting and tech here are an intelligent force that in no way compete for attention instead offering the most fluid accompaniment to the work as a whole.
The set is impressive, a simple white circle marks the boundaries of the performance space, with a pivoting screen offering a central continuum for the performance, with the use of LED lighting offering the greatest and most versatile outcome for what this creative vision demands, in a word, the production values in L U C I D are flawless. The various cameras that are used to capture and reflect the performance in turn offer greater depth of field, duality, and multiple points of perspective.
The choreography here is everything one would expect from Chunky Move and a work of such high calibre, it pushes passed the imposed limitations of the human body to deliver a clear focus on the nuances and subtleties of the human physique. it could perhaps be argued that this work is in direct response to Complexity Of Belonging- a performance that to a degree explored similar concepts, narrative and through line, however L U C I D has, in stripping away so many of the theatrical bells and whistles, and having reduced the cast to only two performers, delivered a work that is further thought through and stronger as a whole.
L U C I D is a must see, it solidifies the reputation that this company has built for presenting work that is on the precipice of dance and theatre as it moves boldly into the future. It would provide a perfect entry point to those not so well versed in the form, whilst offering just enough to satisfy even the most discerning dance go-er. It is playing at Chunky Move’s studio down at South Bank until June 12th you can book your tickets here