Beyond the Body

Takibox’s Beyond the Body is an intriguing exploration of physicality, a performance that promises to look towards an extension, a transcending of state. Devoid of any apparent cohesive structure, the entire dance shifts in and out of differing scenarios with little guidance, the only real connecting force the very bodies of the performers who rigorously stretch themselves to attempt to reach ‘beyond’ their own forms. It’s an exciting but ultimately unfulfilling exploration that promises a good deal more than it delivers. There are moments of exciting beauty, yet these are often countered by frustratingly lax moments of almost over indulgent motion, in which the audience seem to be forgotten.

A moment of beauty becomes rapidly undermined when spread out for too long a time.

Although the ideas behind the piece are clearly strong, the execution lags somewhat behind. There are some impressive and imaginative ideas immersed in projection work throughout, one solo dance sees a shadowed projection morph into differing animals behind the dancer, and yet the execution is somewhat pixelated and jumpy.

Many of the dances centre themselves around very specific sequences of movement and remain grounded in vivid repetitions. The danger of such techniques means that rather than entrancing the actions verge on boring, even lazy, relatively simple sequences are liable to mishaps as the dancers often drift in and out of time with each other. Transitions that could be used to create striking contrasts of movement become instead woefully swallowed up in the elongated time frames in which each sections of movement are pitched. A moment of beauty becomes rapidly undermined when spread out for too long a time.

One of the initial transitions sees a quiet seated meditation turn to eerie laughter, it’s absurd, the surreal pleasure and pain that comes from watching people laugh, the vivid contortions of chests, limbs, all sinking up and down with a pained rhythm of breathing. This concentration on the process of breathing is fascinating and strange, a delicate point that deserves more exploration. The range of movements is impressive and often cleverly combines with the multi-layered soundscape of Eyebrow, but too often sequences end up feeling over egged, a style that leads ultimately to a distinctly underwhelming performance.

Reviews by Thea Hawlin

Zoo Southside

Beyond the Body

★★
Zoo

Icarus

★★★
Zoo Southside

An Invitation

★★★
Zoo Southside

Pss Pss

★★★★
Scottish National Portrait Gallery

John Ruskin: Artist and Observer

★★★★
Blackwell's Bookshop

Blackwell's Writers at the Fringe

★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Beyond the Body is a culmination of extensive research into areas such as: shamanism, subtle energies, mysticism and extra-sensory perception and unfolds on a white stage amongst the shifting light of two projectors. The dancers’ movements range from the meditative to the explosive as they intertwine with the projected images of otherworldly landscapes, mystical symbols and shimmering energy fields all blended live with a hypnotic, multi-layered soundscape by Eyebrow. taikabox.com