It’s the UK Summer. So, what are we seeking – Sun? Yes! Time? Yes! Relaxation? Not necessarily. What most people long for is something to sweep the cobwebs away – an edginess and restlessness – the feeling from Summer holidays past that this is the start of something fresh with endless possibilities. Ash summed up the clear rapturous romance of Summer best in their song Oh Yeah: ‘It felt just like it was the start of forever …’
And now I’ve found a company of artists who, after a winter tinged with doom and gloom, have the energy to inject a summer sting – to awaken our senses after months of wayward inactivity and aching shade. Hofesh Shechter is my new remedy of choice – seek a good dose of him and his dance company: take as often as you can, and sit or stand wherever you can.
A dancer and choreographer who also composes his own music (percussion studies in Tel Aviv and Paris) Hofesh uses his Israeli background, experience in Europe and 10 years in London to draw inspiration to create his own unique forms of dance and music. It is exciting, group work. Using an international mix of dancers, Hofesh steers the inherent power of numbers moving in unison and then the sheer explosive energy of going against the grain to create memorable visions. He fixes a mosaic of different dance styles onto a mirrored glitter ball reflecting the theme of people’s oppression overcome.
With a company of 16 dancers and a band of 23 musicians on a mix of classical and electric instruments – 9 of them drummers on everything from military snares to gigantic Taiko drums – this feels more like a Summer rock festival than a dance recital. And with standing room only at the front near the stage, that is exactly the point – to get the audience involved and shaken up. An immediate standing ovation and scream of glee that almost blew away the ceiling at Sadler’s Wells, clearly signal that Hofesh achieved the reaction he was hoping for.
Hofesh Shechter Company are in Melbourne for the Festival in October – get your hands on some tickets now and experience the start of forever in modern dance.
Cheers for now, Beth Keehn