RUN. 2Faced Dance Company ****

Louis Parker-Evans

RUN features a cast of 5 male dancers performing a triple bill of work, choreographed by women, exploring the idea of fear and the human response to it. Opening the evening was “From Above”, choreographed by Tamsin Fitzgerald. Exploring the struggle of retaining your identity amidst a world of social media, and how our opinions can be so easily manipulated by the collective culture around us. In much the same way the internet bears down on us, the dancers conjure an extra character within the piece; the space. Always engaging with their environment and responding to their surroundings, it's like they are constantly being watched; something often said of the tracking and monitoring of today’s online world. The choreography is laced with connections, contact work and power play; wildly athletic yet effortlessly executed, transitions from weighty masculine energy to an elegance and grace rivalling, in a particular moment, that of a mother and child. It's always fascinating to see how irrelevant gender can become on stage when the movement vocabulary is so expansive, and the detailed attention to more subtle gestures; the softest touch on a shoulder, the inclination of a head in understanding. These are the moments that finesse what is already a extremely powerful piece of art.

Following a short interval, Rebecca Evan’s duet “The Other”, is performed by Jack Humphrey and Jason Boyle. The piece has a particular resonance in our current political climate, fusing the context of immigration and uncertainty, within a framework of supernatural horror. The performers had the additional challenge of lighting their own piece, through the integration of spotlights within the choreography. They were used to highlight the thematic and narrative elements of the piece, supporting the underlying feelings of paranoia through the shadows and absent action and, in a more conventional sense, enhancing the genre of the piece. From a chase seeming to represent the ‘sought after’ avoiding visibility, to an exploration of identity within the confines of an interrogation room; the dancers fought, struggled and shared their way through their conflict with intensity and power. 

From Above

The concluding piece, “Fallen Angels” by Lenka Vagnerova, had the performers as fallen angels facing their demons. It seemed a more mystical piece with a strong sense of narrative, despite reading as abstract. As the angels jerked and twitched, desperate the emerge from their cocoons, they were manipulated by a figure one assumes represents the devil, (Ed Warner) salaciously enjoying his manipulation of their struggle. He circled, predatory, revelling in their discomfort. As the piece progressed we saw their different personalities emerge; from the stumbling drunk, to the scheming snake charmer and each wrestled with the other in a fight of good over evil. The closing moments of the piece, which I will omit the details of, had a gut-wrenching impact and left us wondering whether or not hope is lost. 

With its vivid imagery, limitless energy and committed cast, 2Faced Dance once again prove by it is that their work is so highly regarded. Exciting, vibrant and boldly beautiful. Catch it if you can. 

RUN is showing at The Place on 5th April and continues its Spring Tour nationwide. See their website for dates.