On presenting their diverse triple bill at The Place, all-male dance company 2Faced Dance wrestled their way onto the stage, slamming out freezes willy-nilly and running full-pelt in and out of the wings, only to pause for a few luxurious pirouettes. In the first piece of the evening, Subterrania by Tom Dale,the dancers totally bucked current trends, and proved that things really have gone a bit Hofesh Shechter. Bulky bass-lines were accompanied by moves in monkey-like unison, and the dancers threw their weight on the floor as shoulders hunched and arms sliced intricate shapes across the air. Dynamics were challenged by morsels of folk dance – and apart from one performer that possessed an unfortunate resemblance to Louie Spence, Subterrania was a sufficiently ballsy and athletic piece, gripping the audience’s attention.
But much can’t be said about the next piece, Freddie Opoku-Addaie’s Politicking Oath, apart from that it was plain weird. Having seen more than my fair share of the bizarre and wacky, it takes a lot to completely perplex me. Based on Olympic themes, simple sequences were developed to represent sports such as diving and gymnastics (manageable you would think, if not a little basic). Add to the mix a dancer with a pig’s head, brandishing an alarm clock and you’ve got, well I’m not sure. And I’m not sure the rest of the audience knew either judging by the unenthusiastic slow-clap that followed.
A sigh of relief, then, the troupe were back on track with the final piece of the bill, 7.0 by artistic director Tamsin Fitzgerald. This was quite literally performed in the dust, and combined acrobatic skill with an ecstatic rendering of human emotion Despite the temptation to sneeze throughout the piece, I was transfixed, and left wondering how on earth the dancers could still walk afterwards. Overall, 2Faced presented a creative show with plenty more highlights than low.
(Words: Sian Goldby)