Still

★★★★
archive review | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 18 August 2010

Images of war are projected onto a square of floor. A single dancer, dressed half in combat gear, steps from the darkness into the projector's mottled light. Her dance is fluid, yet tinged with aggression. After a few minutes, the images turn to white noise and the dancer falls to the ground. 

In the scenes that follow, she is joined by three male dancers. Together, this quartet echoes and elaborates on the show's first choreographed sequence. Their dance is abstract but occasionally we see flashes of imagery in the dancers’ movement that evoke fighting and pain. 

The vibrant kineticism of the choreography is mirrored by an accomplished lighting design, which, together with the show’s strange and thrilling score, brings the dance alive. 

Just when the one is beginning to question the reasoning behind the piece's title, the mood changes and a pair of male dancers perform a languorous fight scene, whose tenderness provides a striking contrast with the high-energy routines that proceed it. The stillness of this scene is stunning to witness, as is the remarkable image that marks its finish.

The return of the female dancer for a final solo provides closure of sorts, casting light on what has come previously. Changed from her androgynous attire into a wedding dress that billows dust with every movement, she has become Miss Havisham, a bride without her groom. What an elegant representation of the deadly price of war.