Dan Watson’s Jacket Dance @ Chisenhale Dance Space

by Jenna Corker

Without falling victim to profundity: Dan Watson’s Jacket Dance is a poignantly hilarious and witty observation on contemporary dance today and its predictability is spot on.

The parody is filled with impressive lifts, gone amiss, spoken word, taken from all the loves songs and over dramatised contact between dancers.  Moments typically created in dance to stir feelings and provoke thought, here instead have the audience in hysterics with laughter.

There are sections which appear totally improvised, with Matt Winston and Dan Watson, on opposite sides of the room, prancing around erratically with their backs to one another. Then in a flash both dancers are mirroring one another.  With no music cue and no identifiable gestures in place, the precision and accuracy with which they both perform is genius.

Besides the ridiculous and sardonic humour there are impactful moments of soberness. Like when they’re both jumping in unison and building to a climatic point. This change in tone also highlighted the diversity of moods and movements the dancers are capable of and showcased their strength and stamina at breathtaking pace. It’s not serious for long though, and the audience are quickly thrown back into fits of laughter.

There is great life and energy under the very suave jackets the two sport and their ironic look at the contemporary dance scene was light-hearted and refreshing, which perfectly summed up Chisenhale’s dance position. It’s the perfect example of how dance can be fun and the mesmerising pair was a joy to watch.

Shows and workshops for Chisenhale’s birthday celebrations continue until Saturday 23 November. Check the website for details http://www.chisenhaledancespace.co.uk/blog/the-big-30-full-line-up-announced

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