MÖBIUS DANCE & DOUGLAS THORPE
‘Behind the scenes’
By Anna Cabré-Verdiell Bosch
This is my second and last ‘Behind the scenes’ report for Möbius Dance, a collection of observations gathered over my time in the studio with the company. My role hasn’t changed, I’m still moving in and out of scene, understudying the dancers at times and sitting out a while later to eyeball in detail. The dancers are the same four magnificent movers and the artistic director is also the same one and only; however, there’s a new face in the room, a new choreographer, which leaves me with a whole new story to tell.
For two days the dancers have been learning material from videos; they are working on ‘Dramatis Personae’, a physical theatre piece by Douglas Thorpe which he created with Verve ’15. The piece was originally a quintet, two females and three males, but it will now be performed by three women and a man. Douglas comes in on the third day and appears to be content with the progress achieved by the Möbius crew. The performers are getting into their characters, each of them having to impersonate a highly peculiar being; they are also succeeding in getting the movement material off the ground. However, there is something that makes Douglas frown, something that isn’t quite right.
Without removing his jacket and with his scarf still wrapped up around his neck, he gets on with it. Instead of readjusting, Douglas opts for remaking some sections from scratch, allowing the material to come from and to suit the current performers. He has an internal tempo, which he listens to and follows. Whilst choreographing, he needs to see the phrase over and over again, -like playing that bit of that song on repeat- so that he can gather its inner sense and pull out the movement which comes next. Long pauses fill the room with silence as Douglas asks the dancers to stay still and keep a position ‘if you don’t mind’. He then scrutinises the dancers made sculpture, hoping for the image to speak back at him. Everyone is highly attentive, respectful and supportive of the creator’s methodology.
In just three days an old piece is reborn; a familiar soul resuscitated, performed by fresh new bodies. Frantically rambling across the stage, a big-headed diva, a cocky macho, a bipolar chick and an electric narcissist dance their egos out, not able to coexist together or to exist apart.
Artistic Director: Gianluca Vincentini
Dancers: Robert Anderson, Ana Fernández Melero, Stefania Pinato and Iolanda Portogallo
Apprentice: Charlie Hogan
Interns: Giulia Quacqueri and Benedetta Leso
Photographers: Elly Welford and Guy Kavanagh