Hofesh Shechter, Uprising / In Your Rooms

Review in Issue 21-1 | Spring 2009

Hofesh Shechter is the man of the moment in contemporary dance – with a couple of high profile commissions and TV work under his belt he is a genuine crowd pleaser and rightly so. This, his first full UK tour, brings together his two most recent stage works: Uprising and In Your Rooms.

Uprising (2006), the more succinct work, has a taut masculinity. It evokes the dangerous and exhilarating side of brotherhood, as seven be-socked male dancers scoot across the floor like chimpanzees off hunting, or lock heads like young rams. In Your Rooms (2007) expands the exploration of community as eleven dancers rail at their boundaries and indulge or fight their instincts. But in expanding its remit, it also loses something of its clarity of purpose and where Uprising pursues a direct line, in comparison, In Your Rooms feels in need of a more solid direction – though as an experience both are fabulous.

Shechter’s strengths lie in the fantastically kinaesthetically arresting vocabulary he generates and the colliding rhythms and patterns in which he sets it. Both pieces have a strong sense of an adolescent frustration with the world, which gives the work real force. But there are moments where the work feels less assured, particularly when the social context of each piece is bought to the fore, in part due to the ‘acted’ interactions imposing on the established tone but also in some over-simplified and oft-used contemporary dance images that feel like shorthand for something that could be more interesting. Regardless though, Shechter has bought a much needed verve and passion to contemporary dance creating an exhilarating and dynamic pair of works.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Sep 2008

This article in the magazine

Issue 21-1
p. 29