Wind-Up marks yet another of Zoo’s international forays, 420PEOPLE joining the Czech showcase with a dance piece rather loosely based on the concept of ‘energy’. The physicality of the performers is breathtaking, all six weaving and tumbling into some of the most awe-inspiring positions; however, the looseness of the theme seems to raise more questions than it is actually prepared to give us answers to.
The performers themselves are stunning, combining passion with a joyful humour that lightens the piece when most necessary. Wooden pallets are creatively integrated into the show, and sound and lighting design are both excellently constructed, adding to the movements but never overshadowing. One scene in particular, where the light managed to leech all colour from the stage, leaving a variety of sepia tones, was especially stunning.
However, there are some moment that might well be contributing to the theme, but don’t necessarily slot into the piece’s formation in a way that makes a message clear to the audience – a hangover from the choice of subject, I would suggest. Basing something on ‘energy’s accumulation and explosion’ seems hugely vague and thereby rather safe – one could quite easily blanket this description on most dance shows and rest assured that the audience comes out none the wiser.
I enjoyed the play of space within the venue – writing bodies grasping each other by the leg or hand were reminiscent of molecular attachments, contrasted with moments where the dancers performed individually around the space. Breaking bonds? The issue with this ‘energy’ description is that I have absolutely no idea whether I am saying anything remotely true or intelligent or whether I’m just bullshitting for the sake of it. Were these things planned or have I just imposed my own (rather substandard) interpretation on it? I am not against leaving a piece up to the audience for interpretation, however I do believe that a line must be drawn somewhere. I left Wind-Up suitably impressed but nonetheless rather confused as to what I was meant to take from the afternoon.