The renamed Within Her Eyes (pictured up top) is an entrancing and hypnotic watch accompanied by Seymour Milton’s delicate score. Chihiro Kawasaki possesses a beautiful ethereal quality, her blank, far away expression suggesting a dreamlike state.
Lee Curran’s dramatic lighting is pivotal to the piece, in which Kawasaki’s feet do not once touch the floor over its 17 minute duration. At first the audience see her lit only by a single spotlight. What or whom is holding her aloft is hidden until the full stage is revealed, showing Kawasaki to be sitting on the shoulder of her partner Rhys Dennis. He, too, gazes blankly and in a different direction.
Kawasaki wears a beige buttoned-up blouse and skirt of the same colour, a picture of femininity. Her feet work hard, pointing and flexing to wedge herself into the correct positions as she floats, dives and wraps herself around Dennis, who provides the stability. At other times, Dennis kneels while Kawasaki sits in his lap, eyes closed, signifying their intimate bond.
Although the duet never shifts gears from its initial gentle slowness, the finely crafted movements take the audience on a journey of the pair’s relationship and their dependencies (physical and emotional) until their eventual separation, which is elegantly depicted by Cousins’ choreography.
It is In Between Us Is Me that most directly addresses the 'moments of choice' Cousins seeks to explore in Epilogues. Dancers Rhys Dennis and Georges Hann battle to exert control over each other. The pair shift from savage physicality to eerie stillness. Their brooding gazes fixed on each other throughout, they brim with masculinity in the falls, pulls and pushes similar to those seen in the previous duet.
Focus then moves solely to Dennis, who throws himself to the floor repeatedly, panting, appearing to suffer. He is in turmoil, at an apparent crossroads, before Hann re-emerges and their silent conversation continues but does not conclude.
A more upbeat tone is present in The Secret of Having It All from female duo Jemima Brown and George Frampton.
The pair share a tangible chemistry, their synchronicity in the silliness and soft shoe shuffling of the piece is impressively natural. They bound with endless agility in another deeply physical work, mimicking tap steps in socked feet and bending easily into crab positions. They share the occasional knowing glance at each other, as the choreography builds into a dance-off in which they battle for attention.
This turbulent duet suggests a colourful and long-standing relationship, but after such an emotive programme Cousins’ wisely concludes with a dash of humour. Brown and Frampton change into a shiny khaki number and black tap shoes, their manic grins plastered on their faces as they dance to a brief but jolly musical theatre ditty.
Each piece hints at deeper meaning, but although refined, too much of Cousins work is too ambiguous for the audience. There is great beauty from the dancers and the overall effect of Epilogues is enjoyable, but the central themes and the conversations within the works feel unfinished.
NOTE: A Parent and Baby Matinee will be held on Friday 8th March at 11am.
The Place has programmed a performance earlier in the day for parents who might find it difficult to attend during the evening. They can come with or without their child but are asked to bear in mind that this is not a children’s show and it does contain adult themes.
|What||James Cousins Company, Epilogues Review|
|Where||The Place, 17 Duke's Road, London, WC1H 9PY | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Euston (underground)|
06 Mar 19 – 08 Mar 19, 19:30 Fri mother & baby show 11:00 Dur.: 1 hour 20 mins inc one interval
|Price||£17 (Concessions & matinee £13)|
|Website||Click here to book via The Place|