Silence, stillness, a spotlight on one man, Jose Agudo, for a solitary seventeen minutes. Although this is his first solo venture, Agudo has worked with the likes of Shobana Jeyasingh and Akram Khan, to name but a few, on which note Time/Dropper is very similar to Khan, actually. Very similar to Khan for the grounded, powerful, striking nature of his being but very unlike him for Agudo’s lyricism, his ability to ooze, to melt like butter. A moment of breath – catching it, holding it, experiencing it – for Agudo comes as a moment of realisation for the observer. Exertion for our enjoyment; making the most complex movements/concepts seem so simple which is, indeed, a distortion of time, space, movement, matter.
This seemingly non-narrative piece manages to depict a raw atmosphere through Agudo’s intensity and integrity as an artist. He evokes powerful imagery when there is no prescribed imagery to evoke. Whilst in Fitcher’s Bird, Goddard Nixon, of Rambert Dance Company fame, put their own spin on a well-trodden narrative, that of the Grimm’s fairytale of the same name. Scattered rose petals, a pinkish hue in the lighting and two bodies – Jonathan Goddard and Gemma Nixon – the former is the sorcerer of the tale who stands upstage, an over-bearing shadow over Nixon’s character, the first of three sisters who he has just killed. That’s right isn’t it? There’s a narrative to this piece and if you don’t know the narrative, well, you create your own. This observer was none the wiser but it didn’t matter, and still doesn’t, because the piece still speaks to you, again because of the intensity, the integrity of the artists.
Goddard’s sorcerer marks his territory as the dominating character but this is well-matched by Nixon’s portrayal of sisters one, two and three. She is tenacious, frenetic, on edge one minute and soft, sensual, sleek the next. As with Agudo, Nixons take up something similar to the foetal position, lying on one side with legs and arms bent. A symbol of youth, protection, comfort. There’s also an unmistakable element of fearlessness, a complete surrender to the movement, to the moment. As endings go, Agudo nailed it with on-the-spot turns and spiralling hand gestures to a stunning fadeout whilst Goddard Nixon concluded with an excess of feathers and flashing strobe lights. Needless to say, a long spell of dizziness followed.