• May 01,2014
  • In Review
  • By Niloy Thakur

Object Of My Affection- MurleyDance. Shaw Theatre, London, 27th April 2014

Object of my Affection, a compilation of three dance pieces Seated, A Une Passante and Into Decay, brings together the work of three fresh choreographic talents David Murley, Anthony Kurt-Gabel and Richard Chappell resectively. Presented by MurleyDance, Object of my Affection introduces the generation next of dancers and choreographers through their  first line of work in their career.

The evening revolves around affection. Affection for an object, as in the section Seated or with a stranger who we might never meet, lyrically presented in the second piece A Une Passante (To a woman passing by), or our attachment with our very own gadgets in today’s gizmo world as shown in Into Decay. With a simplistic approach the choreographers establish the essence of the theme. It examines those situations, interactions and emotions of life that have been presented over the years through different creative mediums. The work constantly show us what we are rather than probing into the depths of the unknown, keeping the content light and realistic.

Seated is presented through 5 pieces exploring human connection with an object of daily use, a piece of furniture, a chair. An interpretation of behavioral changes through the generations morphed from power to possession. From the 19th century throne exuding power to today’s self assemble flat pack furniture. The interim sections are snapshots of youngsters fighting over the chair in front of the television and a bar stool where a couple might have their first drink together and fall in love. The depiction is primitive with dancers yet to hit the target.

A Une Passante is inspired by Charles Baudelaire’s synonymous poem. The unfulfilled desire and the yearning of the travellers who see each other from afar but never meet is portrayed through a dream couple. Kurt-Gabel establishes the romantic desire through an explicit array of romantic movements of the dream couple at the expense of keeping the man traveller almost immobile through out the choreography. Contrasts can work wonders but more thought could go into establishing all four dancers on stage.

The concluding piece Into Decay kicks off with dance and slide projections showing a toy bunny, speakers, a power extension cord and then the bare window sill on which these items were kept. The question is if we had to put one of these items back on, which would it be. Our favourite toy bunny thats been with us through the years or our sound systems that we think we cannot exist without? The dancers are agile and sharp, a piece full of energy from Chappell. What could be improved on this otherwise captivating dance piece is the accompanying soundtrack. A combination of  classical piano and original electronic – the abrupt transition between sections is a bit jarring.

Overall its a competent performance considering the young new choreographic talent. The show being perhaps too much theme oriented stops short of being thought provoking. It showcases predicaments from our contemporary lives rather than raising new questions.

                                                                                             Protima Chatterjee

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