DANCE WITH DEATH

Wearing identical brown tinted wigs with a page and bangs, the Fanclub quartet take the stage – for we are all equal before the face of death. Death is the theme of the two-parted performance DEATH with choreography by Norwegian Kim Hiorthøy and Israeli Itamar Serussi.

Fanclub is a female dancers' collective based in Copenhagen, consisting of four Swedes and one Norwegian. Their artistic starting point is to invite artists they admire and find inspiring, and allowing these ”idols” to develop their thoughts in a close collaboration with the group's own ideas and personalities – foremost in performances that challenge traditional dance formats.

Therefor it isn't surprising that Hiorthøy's ”Hi Scores” is a music- song- and text based piece, which contains only a very small portion of traditional dance choreography. That it still consists within a dance context, also says a lot about how dance continues to unfold as the most boundless – and often as the most interesting genre on the contemporary performance art map.

Hiorthøy, who probably is most established as an electronic musician and graphic designer, beseeches the self composed death by using everyday life, all the small things surrounding us, which never assign any particular value.

Each equipped with a smoke machine and a microphone, the dancers line up. In jeans, t-shirts and sneakers they sing songs which later evaporate in puffs of smoke, one of them grabs the microphone and attempts to give a inventory of the living by a long monologue: listing the content of the fridge and the medicine cabinet, describing the way the rooms really appear, pointing out the picture on the wall where Michael Jackson is stuck in a gravity-defying pose. It is as if we find ourselves backstage of life’s arena, behind the glittering faces and facades, where everything begins and ends, here in the dusk of reality.

The ending, where a surging, black mass materializes from nothingness, like the dark cloud in the TV-series ”Lost”, expresses a moment of mysterious relation to death – only to realistically dismantle the illusion: behind it stands four persons with a construction fan. Yes, that's how banal death is.

The wigs are also on for Itamar Serussi's  ”KLARA” (with the significant subtitle ”Till death will do us”). Here they are combined with identical black dresses and a stripped scenography: The floor is covered by a white, square tarpaulin, which prudently folds and unfolds, delimitating and expanding a structured space, and eventually spinningly swirls into a shapeless mass.

Richard van Krusdijk's monotonous soundscape keeps the dancers in a frazzled anticipation for the inevitable: they spurn against each other, head out on solo excursions with convulsive body postures and tiny, desperately vibrating muscle contractions. They disappear in the background with their backs towards us and end up in a crumbling family photo, where three of them slowly fall to the ground, whereas the fourth still sits with her arm extended in the air, holding a hand that no longer exists.

Fanclub, Hiorthøy och Serussi builds up a tension in the lingering, in the very human faltering facing something we don't have a clue about, and they relieve it with both clever humor and a blood dripping temple shot.

Anders E Larsson