Introducing one of our volunteer dance reviewers, Ami Fullalove:
After graduating from Masters Performing Arts College in Essex, Ami appeared in many professional productions before settling in Devon to become a Business Relationship Manager within a wholesale dancewear company where she organised an annual conference for dance teachers at the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London. After realising her love of Event organising Ami moved to a company to coordinate training for Social Workers. Missing the world of Dance Ami is thrilled to be reviewing dance productions for Dance in Devon.
Review of FREE FALLING (DOUBLE BILL) | Hagit Yakira Dance,
by Ami Fullalove
Thursday 19 October 2017 at Exeter Phoenix
A fear of falling and the fear of being unable to breathe were just two of the debilitating problems Hagit Yakira came across during her time as a dance therapist. Together, they inspired her to create this work relating the healing journeys of the individuals she had encountered.
Part one – Air Hunger – danced by Sophie Anstall and Verena Schneider, started with the two dancers in close contact, but moving in opposition. Their proximity, combined with only the sound of their breathing, created a sense of intense claustrophobia and the piece crescendoed into a duet of fast-paced energy. It is rare to hear dancers breathing, and vocalising their breath throughout was a deliberate concept that worked well to convey the depth of humanity behind the movement. The dancers took you on their journey using trusting contact improvisation, starting in unison with calm connective motions, moving into the resistance and fight/flight experienced during an anxiety attack and navigating their way back into perfect synchronisation and harmony.
Part two – Free Falling – involved four dancers, the two women from the first piece plus Joel Benjamin O’Donoghue and Stephen Moynihan. This focused on the fear of falling, drawing on the experience of Yakira’s clients during therapy. This began with one male dancer falling and getting up again, violent movements accompanied by vocal outbursts: “I fall” “I recover”. Gradually he was joined by the others in what felt like a group support session as they assisted and assailed each other with their anxieties. The level of trust and spatial awareness in their contact improvisation was a delight to watch. The piece used both sound and action, with a blend of running, jumping, falling and recovering movements signifying the strength of the anxiety,
Although I felt at times it was a bit repetitive and could have been shorter, both repetition and duration are characteristic of anxiety-based fears. Yakira has created an imaginative piece here that gives a real sense of the fear and healing she has seen. Trust stands out as a powerful theme throughout, and this makes the point that for any kind of therapeutic relationship to work, for any healing to take place, there must be a grounding in trust.
Top Image: Hagit Yakira Dance