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D-Construction Photo ZR

D-Construction: observations

We are so lucky in this town to have so many free events to attend and enjoy – and Stade Saturdays are a fantastic part of the yearly programme. Recently, D-Construction came to the Stade; a mesmerising, totally absorbing performance… something that made the heart thump a little faster. HOT’s Zelly Restorick writes about attending the event, observing and being observed.

Dyptik (France) presented D-Construction, a highly energetic, outdoor hip-hop dance performance with a powerful beat and an oriental twist. A chain-link fence stands in the middle of the performance area, caging and protecting the six dancers with members of the audience on both sides.

Separated by this highly symbolic wire fence, were we, the audience, the observers or were we the observed? Were we the free ones? Were they the caged? The trapped?

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Both the observer and the observed, each individual would tell a different story of what was happening… a different interpretation of the dance and the fence separating us.

Each dancer continually interacted with their fellow performers and the audience, close up, distant, entangled in each other’s energy field, trapped, reacting and responding within this small performance space.

Which side of the fence was best? Was the grass greener on the other side?

The risks involved in climbing to the other side of the fence. The gains. Decisions. Choices. Pros and cons. To stay where they are or to cross the fence.

WHO'S WATCHING WHO?

WHO’S WATCHING WHO? Alison and Naomi, St Leonards-on-Sea residents

I looked around – all audience eyes appeared transfixed.

The toddler in front of me, refused to remain obediently cross-legged, tried again and again to clamber up the fence to the other side, being continually gently pulled back by his father, only to once again try and scale the fence – just as the dancers had done. I wonder how this human soul saw the performance? Did he believe it to be real? Will it remain a memory that will blur like a dream and in the future he’ll think it something that really happened rather than a performance?

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We, the apparently passive observing audience, witnessed an individual and collective, collaborative transition; an overcoming of obstacles; a reaching for the other side. Passive, yet active too… actively observing, being included in the performance space. Even those behind the wire barriers, choosing not be so close to the action, were watching us, watching them, watching us…

At different points during the dance, the performers came in close connection with the audience, the apparent observers, the silent witnesses. One man approached me, looking unblinkingly into my eyes as he slowly walked towards me. We maintain eye contact. He squats in front of me, staring into my eyes. For a few seconds, I am directly included in the performance.

The dancers seemed trapped on the side where they begin, but then, one by one, they escape, move beyond the limits, transition, climb up high and over – to the ‘other side’, where life continues, but from a different perspective.

And then the whole scene begins again, except now they are on the other side of the fence and, positioned on both sides of the fence, the audience perspective and experience changes.

Was it worth the effort trying to reach the other side? Worth the risks?

Maybe the performance is about life and death? Maybe about migration, being a refugee or a travelling soul, seeking something beyond what we have, as so many humans have done over the years?

Thank you, Stade Saturdays, and to all who make these FREE TO ALL events happen! Read this HOT story to find out more about the performance, performers and concept – and see a video link: Powerful Hip Hop at The Stade

(All photos: ZR)

Posted 08:41 Wednesday, Aug 1, 2018 In: Performance

Also in: Performance

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