Saturday, May 27, 2017

Faki Day 3+4: Waddah Sinada (UK) and Nasheeka Nedsreal (GER)

The festival continues with two performances repeated over two nights. Both are outstanding in quality, and worth reading about. The festival continues in a haze of vegetarian lunches, new arrivals and sudden departures, with the final Day 5 fast approaching.

Born into Ruins

There’s something elusive about this dance work from choreographer Waddah Sinada, making its first showing at Faki Festival after a development here. It dodges categorisation in many ways, to the extent that, even after second viewing, I was left with lingering thoughts that I think will keep nagging me. It’s that kind of work, to me.

Nominally a critique of “the stereotypical images of power, violence and conflict” between men, and especially black men, the performance participates in literal reflection of the representation. Following some blue and red light flashes, the dancers (Sinada himself, with Rhys Dennis) burst out to the high energy Niggers are Scared of Revolution by The Last Poets. Movement falls into a pattern suggesting a repetition of the targeted clichés: posturing mingles with wrestling between the figures, who occasionally emerge to address the audience directly, questioningly.

It’s movement suggestive of exactly the power struggle that Sinada is trying to critique, and an interesting place to begin. The deconstruction follows: as the track stops, the figures are left breathing heavily, the stage suddenly a vacuum. Their initial power seemingly drained, the figures roll on with their movement – this time slower and more subtle, with the wrestle now almost ballet-like. Time seems to stop at this point, and the figures explore more vulnerable variations – drifting between co-ordination and division, and away from the audience and into their own, internal contemplation.