the real underground #jazz #dance #immersive
It’s a long walk before I find the place (despite the wonders of modern technology I have once again managed to choose the wrong tube) as I hurry through a Kings Road that feels more like the main drag in a private expat village than the Saatchi-artsy Sloane Ranger Central of my memory.
Rehearsals are in a squat and what a squat it is! The labyrinthine building is clean, well maintained with an architectural fantasist’s medley of room sizes along with great flat floors where one could dance, perform gymnastics or arrange a huge installation. I hear those here are considering this too. You couldn’t find a better place to develop your art, and unlike most dance that claims the name, the rehearsal location puts truth to the idea this is underground jazz, dance and art.
I’m here for the rehearsals of the Brainchild 2015 launch which will be held in Dalston tonight. When I arrive the musicians are working their part. They’re still tweaking the final arrangement but the groove has already insinuated itself into my limbic system. Well before the dancers are ready I’ve reached that state where I’m aching to dance despite tired shoulders and the dangling too-heavy weight of the cameras around me.
It’s the first time the dancers have rehearsed to this new arrangement and the choreography is being refined as a result. I learn more about the group’s creative dynamics as the dancers work through some small changes while the musicians work on. I give up on flash photography, again. It feels too intrusive even though nobody has complained.
That it’s not quite like any other rehearsal I’ve seen is unsurprising because Tyrone is both composer and choreographer. What is surprising is that even while marking both dancers are living the narrative (you can tell from both bodyline and expression) and the intensity and tenderness that results. Just before the first run-through I realise that I need to be very much taller to get the angles I’m seeing in my head. It’s difficult to know where to place the chairs to stand on. The best places are naturally right in the middle of what the dancers have decided is ‘stage’, but eventually I place them by the walls (useful to lean on) at opposite sides of the room and, later, at the end of the day realise that the dancers, sitting on them, are still mirroring each other, an indication of the intensity of their performance.
Then we’re on, melody and bodies developing a recursively evolving groove. On one level it’s a straightforward heart-warming narrative, on another it’s a circular immersive experience with music, motion, mind and feeling turning around until, transformed but familiar, it feeds back into Ouroboros’ head.
A comment on the circle of life or a one-off experience to be savoured? The choice is yours, providing you go see them at Brainchild 2015.