‘There are times when the simple dignity of movement can fulfil the function of a volume of words’ – Doris Humphrey. The same can be said of Andropolaroid 1:1.
Andropolaroid premiered in 2010 and was based on the personal experiences that Yui Kawaguchi experienced during her emigration from Japan to Germany.
Times have changed and Andropolaroid 1:1has developed from the original but maintained many of the original themes; the stranger with sharp movements and angles and the discovery and integration of the unfamiliar.
Kawaguchi began to dance at the age of six. Four years later she created her own choreographies. As an adult she skilfully combines the flowing movements of contemporary dance and the angularity of hip-hop with fragments of classical ballet.
Andropolaroid 1:1 is a marriage between dance and technology. Sixty fluorescent tubes are suspended at different levels above a white floor, with the tubes programmed by Fabian Bleisch and Yoan Trellu to flash in different patterns and time durations.
The soundscape by Sibin Vassilev ranges from pure electronic tone to voice to contemporary music and develops in complexity as the performance evolves.
Alone in this light and sound forest is Yui Kawaguchi, dressed in a simple white tunic and pants, designed by Sasa Kovacevic.
We follow her journey as she tentatively investigates her world, sometimes moving fluidly, sometimes spasming. Her travels are led by trails or points of light that give us snapshots of her in various attitudes.
Midway through the performance a red hoodie suddenly drops and Yui’s world changes. She befriends it, wears it and experiences a different existence. The music becomes more recognisable and her life seems more comfortable.
Enveloped in haze she explores her world as a new entity, secure, or is she?
Andropolaroid 1:1 is at times repetitive and slow moving while at other times intriguing. The ‘creatures’ made by Kawaguchi from her hoodie were thought-provoking, scarcely recognisable as a human being, something out of dreams.
I have always been a fan of modern dance and while Kawaguchi is undeniably an exceptional performer I found it difficult to stay absorbed. The guest who accompanied me expressed similar thoughts.
The constantly flashing lights for the first 10 minutes were difficult to watch as were the sections of strobe. Although there was a warning outside the theatre for the haze effects, I did not see one for strobe lighting, potentially dangerous for those suffering from photosensitive epilepsy.
Andropolaroid 1:1 is thought provoking, well danced, but for this reviewer, confusing.
Photographer: Elitza Nanova