Contemporary dance isn't widely known for its cool credentials, nor for its comedy. This double bill from millennial Swiss choreographer Elsa Couvreur is on the path to change all that.
In The Sensemaker she performs an amusing and thought-provoking duet with a recorded voice, in a dramatic world where waiting on an automated telephone call is equated with sitting in an actual waiting room. Couvreur's smart outfit suggests a job interview, perhaps, and our attention is drawn to micro-movements – blinks and swallows and muscle twitches. When asked to leave a message, Couvreur lipsyncs to a diverse variety of multilingual broadcasts, each accompanied by the same set of gestures that, impressively, make sense in every context. Some segments of more traditional modern dance choreography entertain, but are the least interesting parts.
Drop the Gogo ups the ante even further. A team of six podium dancers bring Couvreur's metamodern music video creation to life with distinct personalities and glittering nightclub fashion. The show is a high energy blast of information overload. All the dance styles, all the career options, all the social media snaps stand in for the overwhelming excess of the digital environment. The piece is exceedingly current, layering fun and shimmer over networks of hairline fractures that threaten to crash.
In both pieces, choreography is combined with visual theatre elements to create an entertaining and surprising hour.