The three works of this Resolution! evening all began with strong, striking images. Some delivered on the potential set up by their opening, while others did not.

Standing alone in a green dress, Mariana Camiloti exudes presence from the moment of her entrance. Soon, a green balloon emerges from her pocket and the solo becomes a duet. Air is repeatedly blown into and let of the balloon, with Camiloti similarly inflating and deflating in empathy with her new partner. The pace is slow, but mesmerising, until she breaks the spell by letting go. The balloon whizzes through the air, somewhat ridiculously. A cluster of balloons is revealed at the back of the stage as the lighting signals the shift into the next phase of the dance.

Vibrantly green, these balloons provide a visual feast. Gradually Camiloti arranges them into a diagonal line stretching almost all the way across the stage. Her pace starts slow but becomes more frantic as she rushes up and down the line, constantly rearranging the balloons, trying to keep them in place. It is a valiant, but futile effort, as these green spheres are full of air and agency. The execution of this simple but challenging task is engaging: an attempt at control and a search for order that is in vain, but which is endearing for that very reason.

After requesting the audience to blow up and contribute the balloons that they were given before entering the auditorium, her visual landscape increases in brilliance and we are treated to seeing Camiloti really move. It is breathtaking, full of lightness and clarity, and it leaves me wanting more. As compelling as her earlier gestural movement was, it feels like it is with this new movement energy that 27 Dragonflies wants to culminate. But there isn’t quite enough to satisfy. 

The dreamscape created by Camiloti is about... balloons? Bubbles? Dragonflies? It doesn’t really matter; this is an intensely personal world, to be individually experienced in all its delightful surreality.  

Loughlin Dance’s Placid Chaos opens with one dancer lit by a square of light. As his movement escalates, he is forced out of, and back into the illuminated rectangle, an effective visual choice. The other dancers enter, walking across the stage, sometimes skirting the central lit area, sometimes not. But the tension created by this opening is not upheld in the rest of the dance.
There are some interesting choreographic moments, but these are lost in the larger swirl of bodies that lacks purpose and structure. Overall, the choreography feels too much like snippets of phrases sellotaped together; it needs more flow, and maybe more stillness too. It also tends towards angst, lending it an air of drama that seems superficial rather than supported by the content. The hip-hop inspired sections, although pulsing with intensity, do not fit well into the whole.

Eventually the opening image re-emerges, the rectangle of light starkly lighting the same performer. It is nice to see Placid Chaos come full circle, the end anchored to the beginning, but it doesn’t really go anywhere in between.

The evening concluded with CoDa Dance Company’s 12 Months On. This piece opened with two performers each holding another performer limp in their arms. The choice to prolong this moment was a good one: the tension built accordingly. Eventually it broke, the performers violently dropping their comrades’ bodies to the floor; the power of hearing bodies and floor collide should not be underestimated.

12 Months On deals with caring for the ill and the guilt, anger, and confusion that this can engender. It is dominated by beautifully strong performances and seems to hinge around the duet structure. However, this breaks down as the piece progresses with trios and solos also appearing in the mix. Whilst these moments generally still work, the duet is the more effective choice, especially given the subject matter. More emphasis on the duet as structural underpinning would make for a tighter piece that delivers with more impact.

For the most part, the bodies do the talking, conveying the varied emotional responses to caretaking. However, there is one moment where speech is introduced and it seems unnecessary. The use of voice does not add anything to what the bodies are already saying, and this solo moment could have been just as communicative without.

Overall, 12 Months On conveys what it sets out to convey, highlighting the complexities that come with responsibility towards another’s body: a particularly poignant subject matter for dance.