Ark 3

Review in Issue 9-3 | Autumn 1997

The minimalist style of Chisenhale Dance Space was the ideal setting for Ark 3, a pared down evening of contact improvisation. The evening had a distinctly impromptu flavour which felt rather like arriving early to a party to find the hosts unprepared. In the performance space, three dancers, each with their own cassette recorder, zipped haphazardly through abrasive industrial noises. Hardly easy listening but, as it turned out, this was going to be a surprisingly challenging and disconcerting performance.

I was caught off guard by the uneasy and exhilarating sense of contradictions. The piece seeming at once worked out and not worked out, linear and yet unpredictable. As the contact between the dancers evolved organically it became random, unexpected and naturally uncompromising. Its greatest achievement was its ability to draw the audience in. There was a visceral quality that shocked, like a Tarantino movie, even in the most comical and tender moments. The plot too, as much as there was one, was akin to Tarantino, bringing together disparate characters, encountering each other in a world punctuated by police sirens and an Agatha Christie radio play.

As the night sky turned a deep purple outside, I left contemplating the shadow boxer and the woman’s lost loves that I may or may not have seen. I felt totally alive.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 1997

This article in the magazine

Issue 9-3
p. 24