Last night, I found myself in the most unlikely of places, Watford. A friend asked me to join him for an evening of dance at the Watford Palace. This wasn't just dance, it was an earth-shattering work of art, entitled Broken by dance company Motionhouse.
In fact, this is not really a review but instead an immense exclamation of this hugely profound and extraordinary work that I was so unexpectedly moved by.
Broken depicts the relationship between humanity and the earth, it is an examination of human relationships with the elements. The earth is our protagonist. What begins is the beginning and what ends is the end. The earth is born from the womb of the universe and is then destroyed by the blood of the earth. What precedes this sentence doesn't explain the show, it is a mere interpretation. This is what I saw - correction - this is what I experienced.
I have never seen a contemporary dance piece before. In fact, dance has never been a medium I have immediately connected with. I have seen a lot of ballet, mainly because I know it's the only way to hear a Tchaikovsky or Prokofiev score performed live. When sat at the ballet you are forced to emote by exquisite and often overwhelming music - some will disagree, but I have always felt that the dance couldn't carry, say Swan Lake, on its own (I confess I am no dance expert). But this was different and had an unpretentious and very real affect on my psyche. I was so taken back and profoundly moved. This was art as I have never experienced it before.
I begin to question why I say this and my only justification is that the story was carried, almost completely, by motion and movement. The music was vague, there was no real melody, it was more of a party of percussion detailing basic rhythm through sound - and that is not a negative point. Dance became the story-teller and thus compelled my complete attention.
The aesthetic is incredible and the journey covers so much ground. All this motion is complimented marvellously by a digital film, which visualises the entire setting of the piece whilst moving in tandem with the dancers. Its vision and imagery, both from dance and film alike, took us through a world unimaginable but so, so real. I learnt more about the earth through this medium than I ever would watching an Attenborough documentary.
I cannot comment on the show's technicality ,nor do I care much either, but what I can say is that I am moved by this strangely emotive work that details our relationship with the earth and its elements.
This was movement with the power and strength of words.
Sometimes I feel like the best art is unexplainable (and often unworthy of words that try and describe it) and this was certainly that. It evoked emotion that I have half-hearted tried to explain above. I want to see it again and delve deeper in this enormously immersive and terrifyingly immense piece.
This is probably the most wank I've ever written - it's like I'm a prepubescent teenager masturbating for the first time.
No matter. You must explore this art, it will take you on the most unimaginable, yet satisfyingly awesome, journey.
That's enough adjectives for one day.