Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Michael Clark at Tate Modern
I have blogged elsewhere about the Michael Clark dance company. Therefore, it was an unexpected pleasure to stumble across them in Tate Modern as they and selected members of the public rehearse for a performance next year in the Turbine Hall.
Leaning over a concrete balcony you get a birds eye view of the dancers sculpting potential moves in what must be the world's biggest rehearsal room. They are dwarfed by the industrial architecture, a space not designed for human beings but for machinery. It is a challenging environment with no respect for the scale of human dimensions. This fascism threatens to overpower the Lilliputian proportions of the dancers as they imagine fresh marks and gestures with their bodies. Yet, before the creative project, the ugliness of fascism is exposed. Beauty defeats the imbecilic. The dancer warming up with splits and stretches shrinks the uncompromising features of the building and we respond to something recognisably vulnerable and helpless, those features that make us human and loveable. "A victory for the person," I overheard a woman comment to her partner. I agree.