Pros: A very intimate performance, with intense choreography that immediately grabs you.
Cons: Although the overall idea came across well, I found it hard to find a clear continuum throughout the different dance segments.
When I was a kid one of my teachers told me that learning languages could help you appreciate colors. I still think that is absolutely true: each language gives off its own particular scent and culture, and people transpire through it. Language has a particular shape and form, and it even has a particular colour. From what I could see at this private performance of IAMTWENTYFOUR , I am not alone with these thoughts. The choreography was a powerful study on the identity of speech and culture within a person. It was a look at how completely different characters can coexist within someone because of a multicultural background.
I started watching with little idea of what was going on. This was exactly the intent; not much information was displayed so we were all allowed to reach our own conclusions. We were meant to find something within us that would be expressed in the choreography, and it seems we all did. The dancing was sometimes sharp and harsh, sometimes it seemed to flow and play around, and sometimes it even looked like complete gibberish. The setting played with the senses: the dancers (each one speaking in a different language) were dressed in the different tones that seemed to project that tongue; the music to the dance was sometimes the deep, live, eastern vocals of a traditionally dressed girl circling the stage, and at other times simply soft instrumentals. It even brought taste into the equation: at one point we were given a vodka shot and brightly encouraged to drink it. Clearly the prospect of vodka got my friend and I excited because we both downed it before we were supposed to, as another segment of the show was happening. Whoops.
I took with me a particular moment: two dancers, standing next to each other in front of a mirror, one speaking what I later found to be a mimic of the French language and the other dancing the sounds as they were uttered. I found it truly fascinating, how it could be that so much of the outline I see in French people could be danced, and how easy it was to make the connection of what was happening between language and movement.
The stage played along nicely with the concept. The space was cozy and darkly lit, leading us into a world within ourselves. Seeing such choreography with no initial setting of what it was about was pretty disconcerting, but choreographer and dancer Treacle Holasz somehow managed to connect us with the concept and make it take form. And the audience was always meant to be a part of it: upon entering we were given tags with random objects or feelings written on them. Speaking to Treacle afterwards, she explained that the dancers had written things that came to mind when working on the piece and they shared it with us, so no names but a word directly taken from the dance. I loved the concept that we could physically take a little of the idea with us. My word was “axe”.
Overall, I found it a very interesting little piece of dancing; it deals with the intimate nature of identity in a new and creative way. Definitely something to watch out for in the future.
Choreographer: Treacle Holasz
More Information: http://www.mitraperformance.com/collaborations/dancers-performers/treacle-holasz/.