Bridging the Gap…EUNOIA Review

By Michaella Haynes

Denise Fujiwara’s EUNOIA submerges the audience into a rare side of contemporary dance, where dance is fused with poetry and speech. She uses the work of Christian Bok, with boundary-pushing choreography that rivals the individuality of his poetry. The dance is split into chapters, each based on a specific vowel, and the performers use excerpts from Christian Bok’s poetry, with one person speaking while the others are dancing alongside.

The performance begins with an interactive game of hangman, giving an initial lightness to the piece, which is held throughout the four other chapters. With each change in chapter, an obvious switch in the dynamic and quality of the movement occurs, which is similar to the evident change in the words used in the poems. Each chapter develops a direct relationship between the movement quality and the vowel in use. For example, Chapter O employs a strong use of contractions and circular shapes, with rounded movements and motions. The words and movements together do not create a clear storyline or emotion; in fact, the sentences are even incomprehensible at times. However, each performer’s face shows clear evidence of an internal drive.

The cast members never stopped performing, as they are never out of sight, even to change clothing. When they are not either dancing or speaking, they wait at the edge of the stage, but their intent never falters when doing so. Their extreme commitment and dedication to the movement is awe-inducing, and makes the minor details much more effective.

This level of connection between art forms is a new concept to me, but EUNOIA opened my mind to limitless possibilities for my own artistic expression.