Resolution 2019: Tamae Yoneda/Luisa Amorim/Li’An Dance

Tamae Yoneda. Photo by Endika Ramos

Tamae Yoneda’s work presents an autobiographical account of Tamae’s father and his bond with the light that governs human existence. The dancers’ technique is strong, and it is quite clear they all embody movement to reflect different types of light. A dying ember is, for instance, characterised by body-convulsing krump. What this piece requires, however, is a consistent thread. The father’s purpose is ambiguous. Is he suffering from illness or recovering from one? A narrative, however, which could have had greater presence, included the faceless ladies under the lampshades. They were compelling, and it could be a brilliant dance piece in its own right. Promising choreography, but the relationship between the father and light needed to be more discernible.

Pushing boundaries can create new art forms, and Luisa Amorim’s accomplishes just that in her solo. Amorim’s performance-art-cum-monologue wrestles with representations of the female body framed through the eyes of male lovers. But there are two separate concepts floating around here. On the one hand there is a jealous female. On the other Amorim is questioning her non-professional dancing body. How the two relate is equivocal. Maybe this piece is simultaneously denying yet affirming conventional notions of womanhood. Perhaps pursuing one concept rather than both would have made for a stronger piece.

Encased within a microcosmic circle littered with broken fragments of limestone, two sisters assert their different identities. They repeat and mirror the same movement in short floor-based sequences at varying tempos, reflecting the enduring, oxymoronic struggle of trying to be unique when they are two sides of the same coin. Li’An Dance’s choreography is absorbing. The two bodies mutate into one as they lean into each other, alienated and exasperated by this uncomfortable interdependency. After such an intense duel however, the conflict was left unresolved. There was still raw material to be explored. Does the bitter realisation of their coexistence render these two lives obsolete? A stunning work in progress, Sorella Mia needs a more solid finish.

Reviewed on 14th of February by Katie Hagan at The Place within Resolution Festival