Split

★★★★
dance review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Split
Published 04 Mar 2018

Melanie Lane is clothed in a blue dress to her wrists and her knees, the fabric of which bunches and snags, creating ripples and life. We notice this movement, the details inherent in the clothing our brains might otherwise smooth over, because her dance partner, Lilian Steiner, is nude. We see each of her muscles, the way they stretch and contract, and this makes us pay attention to Lane’s hidden muscles.

From choreographer Lucy Guerin, Split is a frantic movement of energy. For the first half the dancers move in unison – almost as if Steiner is a scan of Lane, the same body with different layers exposed.

They take up the whole square stage, a mix of contemporary and classical; limbs out of control, limbs perfectly refined. Their bare feet or their fingernails slap the ground and meld into Scanner’s thumping composition.

As the show continues, it splits: the stage in half, time in half. A golden ratio of increasing both intimacy and intensity. Lane and Steiner take short breaks in these fissures – a breath and a towel wipe – but their energy stays until the last. Guerin has us captured until everything has been divided down into nothing.