Isolated Studies & Study For Anima/DarkRoom | Review by Cindy Ansah

ISOLATED STUDIES | Hilary Maxwell & Josh Martin

She is searching, yet sure. 

She weaves across the stage seamlessly moving in, out and through frozen stills of movements in action and moments of reaction. Hilary Maxwell moves with a quality of resistance so controlled that every inch of negative space she pushes through becomes enlivened and animated. The space just above the surface of her skin seems to breathe and I am entranced by her staccato gestures that unfold in slow motion. She immerses herself in the action as it builds and develops, embracing distortion and perplexing movement patterns and shapes in an endeavour of discovery. 

The collaborative work impels me to consider the limitations and opportunities that present themselves through strict self-control and the ways in which one may manipulate this process in order to engage with the unfamiliar; the strange; the unexplored.



STUDY FOR ANIMA/DARKROOM | Lucy M. May with 7Starr

With fists clenched, knees bent outward, and a pulsing rhythm that reverberates from his core 7Starr stands, framed by the crowd of microphones outstretched from their stands in varied lengths and peculiar angles, with a penetrating glare upon his face.

 Abruptly he turns his face upward toward the microphone above him, mouth agape, eyes squinted shut and eyebrows creased; he is completely still but for a constrained breath that he tries to silence. He continues to move through a series of exaggerated grimaces and exuberant facial expressions swiftly clawing at his face to initiate the next one, sometimes interjecting the silence with vocalizations and heavy fervent breaths. I recognize that the deep contours etched into his face emulate that of his movement quality as his movements develop through multiple micro-changes and idiosyncrasies that reveal an inner dialogue within his body. 

The unconventionality of Krump is, undoubtedly, what drew audiences to Study of Anima/Darkroom. Even so, Lucy M. May and 7Starr move beyond the limited perceptions of Krump that often involve notions of aggression. Even in the uncertainty that arises as I watch the work, unable to fully decipher what I feel during some instances or what the sequence of events means, I am engaged in the dialogue. A dialogue that consistently begs the question, “Do you see me?”

Cindy Ansah continues her dance education through the University of Calgary BA in Dance program, endeavoring to expand her passion for community engagement by working with other performing arts disciplines.





Katherine Holm