This is a preview from yesterday’s shoot of ‘The Castaways’ by Barak Marshall, performed by the Ballet Rambert at Sadler’s Wells. It was fantastic to photograph – the choreography is beautiful, emotive and challenging, and expands dance into into other dimensions of performance.
It is so refreshing to see dance that can be genuinely moving on social and personal levels, as well as artistic. I am no expert on dance, but it seemed to me that the piece challenges the boundaries of convention on many levels – employing dramatic vignettes, introducing the dancers’ characters with their real names etc – as a route to inviting us to challenge boundaries between us and within us. Apropos of this, the piece takes place against the backdrop of a concrete segment dividing wall, referencing the dividing wall in Israel (and thereby any other such construction of division). There are moments of fun, exuberance,cruelty, anger, and really touching kindness. It is a wonderful and bold palette on which ‘The Castaways’ draws for its artistic expression.
Here are three clips from my film of ‘Inside I See You’, composed by Satoko Fukuda, choreographed by Dane Hurst. Satoko was commissioned by The Barbican to write this piece for performance at the pop-up theatre, ‘Dalston House’.
The theatre, created by Leandro Erlich, comprised a frontage of a typical Georgian London townhouse laid out on the floor of a car park lot just off the Kingsland Road in Dalston, a space which is no doubt now being developed into heartless, unimaginative flats by Barratt Homes. An enormous foil mirror was positioned at 45% from the ground at the foot of the building, giving viewers the impression that the house frontage on the floor was in fact standing up vertically, like a normal house. The advantage being, of course, that anyone moving over the frontage laid over the floor would appear in the reflection as though they were walking like Spiderman up the outside of a building.
Satoko teamed up with Dane, a dancer at the Ballet Rambert, who choreographed this piece. The performance was accompanied by live and recorded music from Satoko’s violin, and danced by Dane, Satoko, and Estela Merlos (also of the Ballet Rambert).
Satoko asked me to make a film of the event. There was sadly only one scheduled performance of each piece in the brief life of this strange and wonderful reflektor theatre. I am really glad I got to capture this ephemeral triumph of artistic collaboration and innovation. Film-wise, it meant I had to just take an ultrawide master shot during the performance, and return with the performers to the site a couple of nights later to shoot cutaways – thanks are due to Barbican staff for accommodating us. We only had an hour and a half between the end of some heavy rain storms and sunset, but we managed to get enough shots at a similar light-quality to cut the film. A lot of the complex moves were actually performed on damp surfaces – how dancers suffer for their art!