Dublin Fringe Festival: Dive/What's the Matter (Double Bill)

Dive and What's the Matter (Double Bill) by Aoife McAtamney and Keren Rosenberg at Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

Dive and What's the Matter (Double Bill) by Aoife McAtamney and Keren Rosenberg at Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

Purely and gloriously abstract, Dive/What’s The Matter? (a solo double bill) provides an interesting departure from the heavily-politicised work that has dominated much of the Fringe festival this year.
Choreographer Keren Rosenberg’s Dive mixes elements of shame, exaltation, and revulsion. Performing the work, dancer Dor Mamalia creates the impression of an inhuman, amoeboid creature as he manipulates his body muscularly around the floor contorting and splaying limbs, garbed in a shiny blue morph suit and putrid brown socks. The movement is often overtly sexual, with periods of lasciviousness quickly followed by indications of shame. In a repeated trope, Mamalia undulates his entire body, sliding his hands up and down his torso, only to abruptly cut the movement off with a fist shoved into his mouth as though silencing himself. The dehumanising effect of the costume (the performer’s face is covered) combined with the intermittently quelled moments of sexual expression create something dark and troublesome.

Where Dive is basely physical, Aoife McAtamney’s What’s The Matter? is an ethereal work that holds a sense of stillness at its core. Created in conjunction with performer Anna Karabela, the lines of the work are simple, both in terms of props and the energy used in performance. A free-standing stage-light, an hour-glass and a table frame the movement, which Karebela inhabits with a concentrated precision. Initially in total silence, the dancer extends her limbs, sometimes joint-first, sometimes fully, as though reaching out to fixed points in space. The tone is explorative and gentle, yet intensely focused. As an audience member, the experience feels like contemplating a consciousness contemplating its place in the universe.
In both pieces, the performers are assured and satisfyingly physical in their movement, while the choreography succeeds in achieving that elusive thing: distilling an aspect of human experience that can’t be verbalised.

Star rating: ★★★★

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Dublin Fringe Festival: Dive/What's the Matter (Double Bill) by Keren Rosenberg and Aoife McAtamney

19-21 September 2013

Produced by Keren Rosenberg and Aoife McAtamney
In Project Arts Centre Cube

Choreography:  Keren Rosenberg
Performance:  Dor Mamalia
Composer: An3
Costumer designer: Anna Touboul
Lighting design: Alon Bar
Visual artist: Yoav Barel

What’s The Matter?
Produced by: DISH Dance/The Firkin Crane
Choreography: Aoife McAtamney created with Anna Karabela
Performance: Anna Karabela
Lighting Design: Tim Feehily