The last night of Resolution! 2013 offered three quite different works, but none really stood out.

The Twin Factory’s Geraldine and Me opened the night. Created and performed by dance and visual artists Rachel Champion and Linda Remahl, strong design elements constructed a consistent, effective aesthetic world for the performers to inhabit. It was a world vaguely Victorian in nature. Already on stage when the audience entered the auditorium, one performer paced back and forth in a black crinoline dress while the other stayed unseen, moving objects in and out of a pool of light in a manner reminiscent of a magician. In the opening vignette, the crinolined figure, Geraldine, frantically removed her complex clothing revealing a vividly red underskirt, then a white layer, until she stood in only a shift. Stripped down and exposed she was then repeatedly redressed by her fellow performer. The theme here was clearly one of identity, and from the nervous, anxious state suggested by her (slightly overacted) physicality, Geraldine seemed as uncertain of it as anyone.

Described as “a duet for one. A solo for two,” Geraldine was the focus. The other performer, dressed in black, skirted the lit areas to move props and costumes much like a stagehand, asking the audience to indulge in the illusionistic elements of traditional theatre. This relationship eventually shifted, but having the second performer take a more central role weakened some of the constraints set up in the first half of the piece: it confused rather than elucidated.

A breaking of the fourth wall interrupted the hyper theatricality of Geraldine and Me and saved it from becoming gimmicky. But despite the rich world created, the work did not provide a real sense of who Geraldine was. Perhaps this was the point. Or perhaps the ambiguity about this point was the point. Metaphysical questions aside, ultimately there was not enough to offer a connection with Geraldine and her plight.

Wrecking Ball Dance Company’s Even the Devil Has Demons sits somewhere in the murky depths of the commercial-street-contemporary crossover. The five performers dressed in black tracksuits and hoodies have attitude and personality. Hoods go down, hoods go up. Unusually, and refreshingly, the men outnumber the women, however the overly rigid traditional gender roles detract some of the interest from the movement.

The achievement of this piece is in its tightness; it was well-rehearsed, which is not something seen in every Resolution! group work. Conceptually, however, there is not a lot on offer. The program notes vaguely allude to demonic infiltration, but these come across as nebulous artistic pretensions rather than choreographic substance. Despite the adrenaline pumping movement and the use of some quality music, when all is said and done, Even the Devil Has Demons is not greater than the sum of its (albeit well-executed) parts.  

With the unusually large cast of nine dancers (for Resolution!), Off The Map's Iridescent was in some ways an ambitious undertaking. The unison sections in the first half were more or less tightly performed, with a precise movement vocabulary that drew the eye in interesting ways. One performer was singled out, and her solo in the middle of the piece was arresting. But her journey as a whole and her relationship to the group was not clear.

The second half of the piece was a disappointment. The unison sections were distinctly not in unison, and although the constraints of Resolution! can be challenging (most pieces are unfunded and are therefore short on time and rehearsal space), as the previous piece demonstrated, this does not always have to be the case. This is an example of recognising (or not recognising) your limits, and choosing whether to prioritise practicalities over vision. Except that the vision of the second half also went worryingly astray with an unfortunate lyrical turn to Linkin Park’s Iridescent. A melodramatic stillness - the nine dancers with their arms outstretched - exploded into a dance party punctuated by cringeworthy light bursts in time to the music: was this irony? Sadly not. In Linkin Park’s words, maybe choreographer Steve Johnstone should have ‘let it go’, or at least have kept these last moments confined to his kitchen.