Inside the Chain: viewer impressions
A first-time attendee at a contemporary dance event, I was deeply impressed by Ekaterina’s performance. I loved the feeling I had and the thoughts that arose there. Here are some that caught up with me.
It starts as if we are babies new to the world, learning a language. The artist combines the two most universally understood codes: math and body language. Yet the mixture is so novel – it kind of opens up a new dimension in communication.
So the dancer sets off slowly, patiently teaching the audience to understand her, gradually introducing new movements and speeding up. The viewer is excited. They are filled with joy of grasping the language and anticipating the matching movement the moment a certain number appears on the screen.
It then grows more “fluent” and mechanical. A robotic dance with mathematical music has a profoundly hypnotic effect. I was put into the state of meditative concentration, and felt a weird mash of delight (because everything was in such a right order) and uneasiness (because art is not supposed to be so robotic). The moment it seems to have accelerated to a machine-like speed, a beautiful thing happens: there is a slip in one of the movements – the dancer can’t keep pace with a computer. And it’s a relief. The audience is unwittingly reminded that, in the end, it’s all utterly human.
The order is gone, and something dramatically different is born. Part two is based on looped movements and multiplying self. The dancer is now a free smooth-moving soul with three fading replicas of her self behind her. I thought it must be unnerving to look at yourself this way. It’s also a momentary privilege to hold on to the fleeting seconds of the passing time. The time running out of the performance and human life.