Another hit night for The Place

By: Oct. 18, 2023
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Review: POCKETART COLLECTIVE/LOUISE ORWIN DOUBLE BILL, The Place Autumn at The Place continues with a double bill featuring the Prague-based Pocketart Collective with The Lion’s Den and Louise Orwin's Famehungry.

The Lion’s Den (2019) unpicks present day media and all that that entails, and is a truly interesting, original and valid piece of art.

Many would say that media is all about bipolarity: is what we see a true representation or a subjective agenda? And for me that's the essence of this work. 

Nothing can, or should be described as literal, as the piece allows for ample interpretational space, which is another of its many strengths.

As we entered the theatre Sabina Bočková and Johana Pocková were suited up on stage repeatedly and rhythmically rocking, like a sustained, controlled shimmey. This approach can be found within all of their choreographic language. Simple movements repeated and augmented through manipulation laced with intricate detail.

An arm-focused opener ranged from inviting coercion to manic rioting. A following duo used a conjoined choreographic framework consisting of a neck/arm hold that informed all of the movement, and a walking segment highlighted the level of articulation in their creativity and execution.

Throughout they used voice; breath, megaphone enhanced (vocal) percussion or song that verged on the spiritual.

The live music by Lukáš Palán is the real McCoy, taking the experience from anthemic positivity to electronic doom, and the lighting design by Eliška Kociánová is equally important creating visceral atmosphere in the simplest of ways.

I'm very eager for Pocketart Collective to return to London, and hopefully with more than one show and a bigger audience next time, because this is the kind of work that needs to be seen.

Review: POCKETART COLLECTIVE/LOUISE ORWIN DOUBLE BILL, The Place Famehungry by Louise Orwin is a snapshot into the world of TikTok, and what it feels like to "live your life online". I must admit I don't have/use TikTok so forgive any faux pas that follow. Orwin worked in collaboration with the TikTok creator Jaxon (Jax) Valentine, as well as movement director Jenni Jackson for the presentation.

In fact Jax was with us, virtually speaking, as well as other TikTok users as Orwin presented Famehungry through the prisim of TikTok Live. The performance at The Place being streamed on the platform as Orwin's content. 

Confusion is perhaps inevitable when dealing with multiple realities through numerous mediums, and though I'd propose Orwin's intentions are of interest, they don't read like they've found their ideal format just yet.

We saw lolly eating, cucumber wielding, strawberry milkshake dousing, repetitive pedestrian style dancing and were even treated to an adagio rendition of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody".

It is worth noting that this was the very first sharing of a work in progress that will have it's official premiere in 2024. Orwin's subject matter is absorbing no doubt, but the meta perspective somewhat defined the whole experience as one dimensional and verging on obvious. In its current state it isn't a digestible work per se, it's more practice as research; a theatrical documentary or an embodied essay. Social media as a subject isn't going to provide a definitive set of results anytime soon, so has Orwin instigated her own self-fulfilling prophecy? 

Another hit night for The Place though, pushing and questioning London's dance scene as we know it…and need it.

Pocketart Collective/Louise Orwin double bill was performed 17 October

Photo credit: Klaudyna Schubert 


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