Sun by Hofesh Shechter opens Brighton Festival 2014

With Sun, Hofesh Shechter pushed the form of presenting dance even further away from its traditions than he did with Political Mother. There was a lot of complete darkness, and a lot of pregnant pauses, punctuated by veritable explosions of activity. The dancers are fabulously physical, and there is no discernible difference between the female and male members of the cast in terms of sheer physicality and vigour, which I particularly enjoy. One of the female dancers looked like she was about 6 months pregnant, but performed with the same verve as all the others. Having been both a dancer and pregnant (and disinclined to give up what I loved), I felt a special respect for both her and for the company. You tend to get a lot of well-meaning but sometimes misguided attention to your physical ability when pregnant, so kudos to the company as well as the dancer in question.

Much of the sophistication of the production was communicated in the audio; voice-over played a big part, and the sound was as powerful as it was in Political Mother. The voice-over was instrumental in setting the audience up in a murder mystery plot of sorts in a dark shade of noir, framing the frenetically pastoral scenes on stage, and eventually revealing the audience as complicit in the Western cultural dynamics that fed/feed on colonialism. At that point you gasp and revel in the realisation, however stark.

Brilliant dancing (a feast for the eye to enjoy in complicity), double-bold delivery, and a delightful head game at your expense – what’s not to love? We did.


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