Review: Pie Equals Square by GT Artistry

Forgettable contemporary dance with an obscure scientific theme

dance review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 17 Aug 2018
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Pie Equals Square

A man in his 70s lies on the floor wearing white labroratory overalls inside a square marked with orange tape. Projections of algebraic symbols rain over him, and a dense voice-over recites scientific theory. He rolls and pushes his prone form around the square, head to its outside edges, as five much younger men and women slowly approach its tape border. This boundary is variously recognised and ignored throughout the performance and suggests, perhaps, the focus of scrutiny, a petri dish of behaviour at cellular and human level. Honestly though, it's hard to tell what any of it might mean.

The six dancers do a decent job of presenting inaccessable choreography by Paula Mann, which creates neither a graspable figurative concept nor a cohesive visual movement world. An original soundtrack by Hans Kruger includes elements of music and ambient sound, meaning much of the dancers' rhythm comes from each other. This is impressive when successful, but distracting when one performer is regularly a little off from her companions. 

Some gestures and movement phrases are abstract, others take communicative gestures of the everyday—pointing, pouting, and the gesticulation of hands that accompanies animated chatter, here performed with silently speaking mouths. Voiceless shouts appear alongside clawed fingers. Finally, some spoken phrases add to the jumble of elements.

The cast clearly have their own logic, but it's impenetrable to us. I'm left nonplussed.