Matthew Day: Intermission
|Added:||27 June 2012|
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PACT Centre for Emerging Artists
Sydney, 19th June
Intermission is a solo work choreographed and performed by independent artist Matthew Day and one in a trilogy of solos he has developed over the last two years. As somewhat poetically stated in the program, “Intermission, the final work in the series, immerses itself completely in these deep unconscious rhythmic waves that surface along the body and extend through space.” Day did a fairly good job of realising this through movement but it was an extremely challenging work to watch and maintain focus throughout.
While Matthew Day moves with clarity, his was a very internal performance. As a result I could not see the “rhythmic waves” mentioned in the program extend beyond the confines of his own body to fill the performance space or reach out to an audience. In keeping with the minimalist feel of the work, he dressed entirely in black (everyday clothes, including gloves), presenting the work on a bare stage while a throbbing, vibratory electronic score that you could hear and feel was played live by composer James Brown.
Choreographically the solo had very little diversity and a lot of repetition, as the movement consisted almost solely of circular spirals reverberating through his arms and upper body. As they gradually increased in size, the energy generated extended into the lower body, initiating his first movement away from centre. The basic idea of circular patterns was magnified by the floor pattern, as Matthew slowly completed a circular trajectory around the performance space from beginning to end. While it was clear his use of space mirrored the circular movement at the work’s heart, it also made his performance less accessible to those of us in the audience, as he spent a significant proportion of the work facing away from the audience at the back of the space. The most engaging part of the work occurred when he was located downstage facing the audience, but this only lasted five to 10 minutes as, like a planet circling the sun, his inexorable orbit around the space took him away again.
At under an hour from start to finish Intermission shouldn’t have felt overlong but it did. A gradual evolution of pattern was apparent and transitions were smoothly linked but time dragged and boredom set in. While repetition is a valid choreographic device it results in monotony when not broken up or contrasted with other elements. This was clearly evident in Intermission.
- GERALDINE HIGGINSON