Review: Tokyo Electrock Stairs

An unbound interpretive fusion

★★★
dance review (adelaide) | Read in About 1 minute
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Tokyo Electrock Stairs
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Published 26 Feb 2019

It’s understood that dance takes over where language cannot, but Tokyo Electrock Stairs break this convention in their Adelaide debut performance Twilight Suddenly. It's an interpretive theatre dance piece unbound by the usual conventions of dance by incorporating acting and spoken word, which immediately calls to mind the work of Pina Bausch – if a little more upbeat.

Set mostly to an uptempo electro soundtrack, the four dancers perform a contained fusion of contemporary and hip-hop, and while the overall performance is deliberately subdued, their skill undoubtedly shines through. Dance numbers are episodically cut by an actor who delivers a dramatic, lovelorn monologue about loss and memory. It’s bizarre and at times incongruous, periodically losing the audience. Although the actor’s conviction in his delivery is commendable. 

The clear standout is the penultimate solo hip-hop performance by choreographer KENTARO!!, who dances so languidly he gives a skilful illusion of effortlessness. It’s this expertise that draws eyes to him even with the four other dancers on stage.

Tokyo Electrock Stairs have created a restrained, interpretive dance piece that’s absurdist for the sake of being absurd. It mostly resists fixity, and it’s admirable for that.

End of Run