By Michaella Haynes
A fusion of many art forms, Stunning Ancient Time Warpers combines live and recorded music, spoken words, and movement. Speaking as someone who has never witnessed a performance which combines art forms, I was completely unprepared to be so moved and inspired. I found it difficult at times to keep my ears open to the words and sounds, as I naturally gravitate to what is clearly visible, but when I reminded myself to pay attention to everything else as well, I was in awe of how seamlessly all aspects moulded together.
Sheri-D Wilson takes the stage, and as her voice sweeps over the audience, I am captivated. She has a perfect balance of humour and seriousness weaved into the story of her journey to branch from dance to writing, and with the accompaniment of drums that seem to portray the same emotion as her voice, it is impossible for my mind to wander. The dancing does not start immediately, but when Michele Moss, and eventually Sabrina Naz Comeanescu, enter the stage, executing varying organic jazz movements, my attention is captured more than I thought possible. The music, words, and dancing formulated a conversation, where all their ideas worked in conjunction as though they were made solely for the purpose to enhance each other.
Just Words (a work-in-progress)
Just Words begins in darkness, with the audience only vaguely able to see the silhouette of the three performers. The lights come up and we see they are dressed in black and grey, with sneakers on their feet, and they advance forwards into a diagonal line, waiting in utter stillness before eventually breaking apart. The initial dancing appears to be fight between two dancers, with the third performer yelling sporadically throughout, adding to the tension. The dancers break apart and Aryo Khakpour speaks a brief introduction before reciting a love poem. At first, this seems slightly out of place, but as the dancing progresses, the line between war and love is blurred, and I am no longer sure what the intention is. As the last few words of the final poem resonate, the last piece of paper hits the ground, the vibrations of the music slowly fade away, and the dancers stroke the last, thin beam of light, there is a sense of finality and death, yet I am left with a curious feeling of contentment and satisfaction. Once again, Serge Bennathan’s intricate, dynamic choreography has not failed to leave me inspired and anxious for more, especially now, when combined Karissa Barry and Hilary Maxwell’s beautiful interconnection and physicality.