4Motion’s The Kiosk is an intense immersive work that confronts the tension between the freedom of digital connectivity and the threat of (corporate) control.  The kiosk itself, stage left, is a traditional phone box, used variously as a symbol, a metaphor, or just part of the set.  The performance begins with a single dancer crouched down inside the box, and ends with all six crammed into it, willy-nilly.

Sean Looby’s electronic sound track sets the pace and drives the action through a series of scenes that suggest by turns that we are enthralled, controlled and threatened by, or at the mercy of, technology.  Danced with raw energy and unquestionable commitment, this performance (the third of the evening) was bursting with ideas ripe for further development and refinement.  In the intimate space of The Hope, the sheer quantity of material was almost overpowering.  We saw images suggestive of vestal virgins and dirty old men;  Rackman-style dogs and hooded prisoners;  orgasmic sex, innocent bubble-blowing, human sacrifice, and more.  Sometimes the dancers seemed linked by a telepathic wifi as they tapped at invisible keyboards, and at others they seemed to feed physically on the wires that they dragged out of the kiosk with their mouths.

Passages of choreographed group dance alternated with episodes that may have sprung from contact improvisation.  Brief moments of solo dancing hinted at more expressive possibilities for a less congested stage.  The movement sequences were sometimes bogged down in the crowded space, and some episodes, such as when two dancers embodied terrifying dogs, would gain from more subtle variety and less repetition.  The frequent costume changes were an unneeded distraction:  these are not dancers who need to dress up to convey their ideas.

4Motion is the resident dance company at The Firestation in Windsor, and they are still working on this collaborative piece, with which they may tour later in the year.  They brim over with enthusiasm and creative ideas, and if they have time to select what is best and reduce the piece down to its essential essence, they will sharpen both the intellectual focus of the work and the theatrical experience of the audience.

Maggie Watson

29th May 2013

Artistic Directors:  Dean Soden (original concept) and Elaine Macey

Dancers and choreography:  Elaine Macey, Jessica Todd, Ughetta Pratessi, Caroline Capon, Charlie Dixon, Robyn Thwaites