Alyona Ageeva’s PosleSlov Physical Theatre Company presents the UK premier of this contemporary physical theatre performance. A member of the team takes to the stage to inform us that the piece is presented as a philosophical reflection on the relationship between humanity and time; a movement fable about life, death, love and love’s demise. I always hear the faint ringing of alarm bells when a physical theatre performance needs to explain the concept before it starts but Ageeva’s choreography and Konstantinov Konstantin’s direction have created a piece that certainly conveys the themes and yet remains open to interpretation.
A beautiful example of its genre and deserves to have a greater audience than the seven of us who experienced the show.
This is minimalist dance; there’s no set or props, subtle lighting and costuming is limited to a mix of skin-tight flesh coloured and black lycra. We open on Ageeva and a male dancer, her in whiteface and the sheerest of costume, him stripped to the waist, who entwine their bodies and move together, alternately supporting each other and attempting to escape from the entanglement. Three female dancers enter as grotesques and claw at the interconnected couple before chasing them from the stage. It’s a striking and beautiful opening.
As the show progresses, the various combinations of movement and occasional song are somewhat hypnotic. A moment where the performers play pattycake takes me out of my reverie and, for the first time, I wonder what’s going on but it’s only a moment of personal confusion before I’m again drawn into the powerful and raw choreography.
On This Side Of Time is a beautiful example of its genre and deserves to have a greater audience than the seven of us who experienced the show. If you’re a fan of physical theatre, this piece will engage and encourage discussion on its themes; if you’re new to the genre, this is a fine introduction to the art.