Review – Worthy of the overused ‘awesome’

2012-07-05 08:06

Impossibly white floor, straps of tape across it mapping out geometric shapes, a woman in a green satin body suit lying face down.

A buzz starts, background noise, like an electronic signal disrupted by another.

The woman moves – precise, slight, controlled.

Only her arms move – bending, jointless into shapes that defy the abilities of the human body.

The buzz builds, the dancer gains momentum from within, she is exuding energy – pushing it out into the piece, into the room.

The shapes she makes become rhythmic, creating patterns in the movement and in the sound. It is repetitious, hypnotic.

Twenty minutes later she vanishes into the darkness as the lights fade, the neon tape shapes glowing in her place and the buzz dies away.

Lanx is over and the only time she stands is to take her bow, yet her technique towers over the audience, dwarfing the need for narrative or meaning.

The audience is asked to step outside while the performers set up the next piece – Obtus.

The feelings among the audience that mills around outside are mixed.

Some are grumbling asking what it’s all about, others are awed into mumbling superlatives.

All though are intrigued to see what the second piece will be.

Swiss choreographer and dancer Cindy van Acker has been collaborating with sound maker Mika Vainio since 2007 and the only other piece of her work I have seen is on YouTube.

Which is why it is such a treat to get a glimpse of what she calls her attempts to get to the “minimalistic language” of dance, to explore with her the architecture of the body and to understand why she says precision brings the dancer more freedom.

Obtus is an aesthetic wonder.

Pitch black, with eight strip neon lights, the dance begins.

Vainio’s sound becomes increasingly mesmerizing, tapping into something primal drawing the minds of the audience into silent acceptance.

It feels as though the world drops away, there’s only the sound, the light, the dancer’s tiny flickering movements – like a spectre in the darkness.

It builds and builds and builds almost to a crescendo – stopping short of a climax.

It is repeated, with variations, the rhythm, the patterns, the variations.

Obtus is a perfect storm of light, sound and movement – the result is a rush and at the same time it calms, soothes and amazes.

All this praise seems too much – it isn’t.

Lanx and Obtus is an experience, one that you shouldn’t miss.

A singular moment of magic created from the mechanics of movement, sound and light.

It is worthy of that overused word – awesome.

» Lanx and Obtus is on at noon today and 4pm at the Transnet Great Hall. Cindy van Ecker brings her work to Cape Town on July 8, 9, 10 and 11. For more information, call 011-403-1880.

» Follow our coverage of the National Arts Festival:

» Follow Gayle on Twitter: @GayleMahala
Follow City Press: @City_Press

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

LIVE: Canada 3-0 Romania
LIVE: Fiji v Uruguay
Habana proud of spirited Springboks
Heyneke: Still some loose ends
Traffic Alerts

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Listen to your body and your emotional reactions. Know when to slow down or stop. It is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.