|Yui Kawaguchi in Andropolaroid 1.1|
Choreographed and danced by Yui Kawaguchi. Theatre 51-grad in coproduction with MA scene nationale.Lighting by Fabien Bleisch.Sound by Sibin Vassilev. Costume Sasa Kovacevic. Dramaturgy Rosi Ulrich. Space Theatre. Adelaide Festival Centre. OzAsia Festival. November 9 – 10 2018. Bookings BASS 31 246 or www.ozasiafestival.com.au
Reviewed by Peter Wilkins
In a forest of neon, suspended like stalactites of fluorescent light, a figure in white stands in the stillness of the darkness. Suddenly lights flash as the force of life inhabits Berlin based and contemporary dancer, Yui Kawaguchi. What ensues is the awakening of the body, the possession of the spirit and a phenomenal display of physical dexterity and awakened flexibility of the dance. Sibin Vassilev’s soundtrack draws us into Kawaguchi’s unfolding mystery. As the lights pulsate, Kawaguchi is instantly possessed, flung into existence, each part of the body activated by the pulse of light and sound. In an instant music explodes in an instant of sound, flinging the dancer in white into a foetal stillness upon the floor, before once again being thrust into life by the renaissance of the white neon light, now patterned and sequenced differently as her existence evolves.
The dance has no distinct narrative and for forty minutes the audience is left to create their own interpretations of the movement and gestures, to construct their own narrative, inspired by the sheer skill and artistry of this exceptional contemporary exponent of the dance form, drawing on classical point work, hip hop, ballet and Butoh. What is so amazing is the phenomenal elasticity of Kawaguchi’s body. She twists and turns, extending the body, arching the physique and separating parts of the body as she twitches the feet, alienates fingers and hands from the arms, extends the torso and once again slides into the supine. Almost androgenous in her performance, Kawaguchi creates sculptural flashlights of body in motion and magnetic stillness. A red pullover falls from above into a white spot and transforms into a partner in Kawaguchi’s dance as she twists and turns during attempts to clothe herself in the brilliant red garment. Eventually she succeeds and the stage begins to fill with mist and the human form becomes again a shadow in the mist, transformed and transfixed by luminescence and the electronic pulse of Sibin Vassilev’s soundtrack.
What I am left with is the extraordinary display of a dance that inhabits each part of the body, feeding every nerve from the head to the toe with the evolutionary awakening of existence. Each sequence presents a new awakening until the final fulfillment of being. It is a thoroughly absorbing performance that leaves one with the striking image of light and life force and an unforgettable admiration for a dancer with the power to activate body, heart and mind in an unforgettable expression of the life force that exists within us all..