The Evil Imp

Hofesh of the Dance

Is Hofesh Shechter in danger of becoming the contemporary dance equivalent of Michael Flatley? If you don’t know who Mr Flatley is then all we shall say is ‘Lord of the Dance’ and “one trick pony” and leave it at that!

How could we say such thing about the new darling of the contemporary dance world? Simple, Mr Shechter needs to make a new piece of work because if we see ‘Uprising’, ‘In Your Rooms’ or one of its variants just one more time then somebody is going to get slapped in the neck with a salted kipper!

Let’s be very clear! ‘Uprising’ and ‘In Your Rooms’ are superb pieces of work and Mr Shechter is a dance maker with enormous skill. You pick a fight with Hofesh then you pick a fight with us all and we don’t take prisoners or even enemy combatants!

However, we, here in TheLab™, love strawberry trifle a lot but if all we eat is strawberry trifle then pretty soon you get to the stage where if you get so much as a whiff of a strawberry trifle then you’re going to break out the salty sea creatures and start swinging. (mixed metaphor extravaganza alert! Ed!) Get the idea?

We’re starting to get the same feeling about ‘Uprising’ and ‘In Your Rooms’, you can have too much of a good thing. Our feelings are not being soothed by the up and coming performance of a hybrid showing of the two works called, wait for it, ‘The Choreographer’s Cut’ at the Roundhouse in London on 27/28 February.

The title is a play on “Director’s Cut” and comes from the wacky world of movies where a put-upon director is forced to alter the theatrical release of his/her movie by mean producers and then changes it back for the DVD release so they can make more money show their true artistic vision to the world!

Are we to believe that what we have been watching all along is not the real dance making Mr Shechter wanted us to see? Has some nefarious producer been at work in the background demanding crazy re-writes and a nude scene? We doubt it!

More likely that some producer in London, the city where good ideas go to die, ponied up enough cash to make this all happen. Great for the dancers, great for the company, not so great for those hankering for something new after two years.

It’s called contemporary dance for a reason. We’re a fickle bunch and move on quickly letting video archives pinch our fond memories from time to time. 2009 is the official year of the new Hofesh piece, for no other reason than we decided it should be. This is the year where he proves that he is a multi-trick pony with a long flowing tail and the ability to do complex arithmetic with a multiple taps of his hooves! (that’s enough equestrian references for now! Ed!)

If nothing new has emerged from the house of Hofesh by the end of 09 then we are sorry to say that he’s going on TheList™ and trust us when we say that you don’t want to be anywhere near this list because ‘Cattlecall’ by Javier Du Frutos is the best thing on it!

‘The Choreographer’s Cut’ is on at the Roundhouse in London on February 28/29 and we never want to see it again after that!

[ ‘Uprising’ on Article19 ]