The title is a play on words by the company’s founder and director Tamsin Fitzgerald, harking back to the 90s and the eponymous band she grew up listening to: the programme, she says, brings together ‘EVERYTHING,’ whereas '[but the girl]' refers to the fact that she’s created 90% of the company’s work so far.
Indeed, Tamsin Fitzgerald authors the two stand-out pieces in this bill, including her first solo work, Hollow in a World Too Full.
Inspired by the 1976 film The Network and its protagonist’s refusal to accept that bad air, contaminated food and societal violence are simply ‘normal’, this solo explores the impact of an uncertain, overfilled work.
Danced on press night by Will Hodson, who shares a choreographic credit, it is a disquieting 12 minutes’ work, built on a crescendo of stifling anxiety. Wearing a kilt as part of his all-black costume, with his copper hair tied in a high ponytail, Hodson is like a timeless Highlands warrior: at first bemused by his surroundings – a naked arm stretches softly sideways in an opening moment of dreamy beauty – he is soon fighting back with increasing ferocity.
The high-octane choreography sticks to Fitzgerald’s trademark combination of fast-moving contemporary dance, street breaking, and acrobatics. Hodson turns and jumps, his arms clutching the air above him, covering the entire stage in increasingly frenzied zig-zag runs.
Hollow in a World Too Full is performed to a score by Alex Baranowski, played live (over a computer track) by members of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, who also accompany the final work, 7.0 – Reduxed.
A reworked version of an earlier work inspired by Tamsin Fitzgerald’s visit to earthquake-struck Haiti in 2010, 7.0 – Reduxed is an exploration of what happens when we lose everything we had.
A piece for the full company, danced to a new score by Alex Baranowski, 7.0 – Reduxed is intensely atmospheric. At first the men, two kneeling, three standing, create clouds of dust as they slap their clothes and stamp on the ground. One contemplates the dust, all that remains of his belongings, another digs frantically with his bare hands.
Two hunched men stagger, as if dazed by their loss. The music is poignant, elegiac.
Gradually they come together, their collective dance translating an undefeated life force, but also, it seems, a competition for scarce resources.
The evening starts with The Qualies, by Fleur Darkin, until recently director of Scottish Dance Theatre. Inspired by the American writer David Forster Wallace’s detailed essay on the tennis player Michael Joyce, lengthy extracts from which are read far too fast by a grating male voice, it is a meditation on the unsung ‘qualies,’ or qualifiers, that make up the also-rans in every big tennis tournament.
There's little dancing in The Qualies – instead, four young men spend what feels like an eternity larking around with tennis balls. It goes nowhere, and the complex detail of Foster Wallace’s essay distracts from what’s going onstage, which is not a bad thing, in that nothing very interesting is going on.
Still, the disappointment fades away after the first interval, when we get into the really enjoyable core of the evening.
Age Guidance: 11+
|What||2Faced Dance, EVERYTHING [but the girl] review|
|Where||The Place, 17 Duke's Road, London, WC1H 9PY | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Euston (underground)|
13 Mar 20 – 14 Mar 20, 19:30 Dur.: 1 hour 45 mins inc two intervals
|Price||£17 (concessions £13)|
|Website||Click here to book|