Finding something to like in dancers Avidan Ben-Giat and Andrea Costanzo Martini is not a problem. The duo’s cheesy grins, humorously passive-aggressive friendship, and sheer technical ability carries them straight to our hearts.
Once there, however, it’s hard to know what to do with them. When they embody inanimate objects, writhing like the contents of a sizzling frying pan or spinning like food in a blender (all aided by Binya Reches’ clever sound design), it’s fun and frivolous. When they scream and fall, or are dragged across the floor in a sea of haze, it hints at something darker.
Watching the men dance Martini’s choreography, it feels as though a flotilla of narratives is passing through their heads, but none of them sail our way. Aesthetically pleasing, witty and beautifully executed, yet sadly hard to emotionally engage with.
Elevator musak Samba plays as a man in shorts and shirt poses in the spotlight, one leg offered forward like a swimwear model. A second man joins him, and they pop their hips to the beat and smile insincerely. Choreographer, Andrea Costanzo Martini describes this as a joyous duet – perhaps he is being insincere with this description, too. They cat fight, slapping their hands limply together. They fake scream, and nails are scraped torturously along a blackboard. Sound brings another layer to movements - a knee creaks painfully, a twitching supine body is frying in a pan. Things get hellish when the void opens, pouring smoke into the space, but any sense of what this piece is saying, or why it matters, has already been swallowed up. One ‘friend’ drags the other inside. The tension is destroyed when they return. Their dance to hell and back is well executed, but what for?