Noa Genazzano 2023 at Blue Elephant | Assessment

Phrases by Katie Hagan. Carried out at Blue Elephant Theatre 4-5 November.

Noa Genazzano’s 2023 carried out at Blue Elephant Theatre is a moody and meditative work that offers time and area to mirror on how we will consciously transfer away from the murkiness of on a regular basis life to seek out peace inside. 

A winsome story of recent beginnings, 2023 marks Genazzano’s transition to choreography after working as an expert dancer for the likes of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Punchdrunk and Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company. These huge figures in dance have had robust choreographic influences on Genazzano which might be evident and clear when watching her solo

2023 begins fairly actually in the dead of night. Solely a slight beam creeps by the smoke-filled stage to steadily permeate the haze. The silhouette of a dancer, Noa, seems phantom-like, carrying all white. Suspenseful stillness happens for just some extra moments till the sound – courtesy of composers Joe Scott and James Keane – rips into the efficiency area to interrupt the silence; thumpy, pumpy and bassy in its presence. 

Noa’s motion is propulsive. There are convulsive physique pops as she pushes her physique to its bodily limits. She repeats quite a few phases; this opening part emphasising the inescapable repetitiveness of day by day life. As her physique jerks, Noa’s face compared is impenetrable and stoic. Is she all too proof against the insanity and monotony of what’s happening? 

A blackout ends this scene, and we discover ourselves in darkness as soon as extra. Soothing yoga music comes into the area. After a punchy motif in regards to the body-punishing day by day grind, we’re instructed by a voice over to breathe out and in. To take care. Is that this Noa reclaiming her physique? An ambery gentle units the tone for this hotter part the place the voiceover speaks of therapeutic, of the “fantastic thing about the earth’s pure rhythm”. We watch Noa – now wearing black – dance launch sequences harking back to Graham method, that are a balm to her physique after the wrenching choreography within the opening part.  

What follows is a sequence of vignettes punctuated by returns to darkness. Every time the lights go off Noa adjustments behavior; probably the most stand-out being a white outfit that’s maybe an ode to her time at Alvin Ailey. The clothes seems to be influenced by Ailey’s seminal work Revelations, by which the dancers put on white clothes. The choreography is equally very Revelations, with excessive ‘V’ formed arms, swoops, deep bends and fan kicks. The music tingles with the sounds of mild maracas and gulls, this part feeling escapist and redolent of instances previous. 

The ultimate vignette sees Noa – wearing black once more – waking as much as a plastic waste-ridden surroundings. The music signifies we’re close to to water, with the sound of soppy plops and lapping waves aplenty. Noa performs with the litter and makes it tackle new varieties, till she packs all of it away right into a (plastic) bag to depart the stage.

This ultimate tapestry factors to somewhat than critiques the damaging results of plastic waste, which within the context of wanting ahead to 2023 within the present local weather disaster, feels maybe slightly too mild in its strategy.   

Total, Noa Genazzano’s 2023 is a vibrant patchwork of conceits about reclamation, reconnection and therapeutic after discovering your self at a loss. The choreography has clear influences from the likes of Graham and Ailey, which though a part of Noa’s motion vocabulary and historical past, can usually make 2023’s choreography – bar the primary part – slightly imitative and recognisable. The motion does nevertheless make for a daring and gripping solo work with stunning motion, and we must be excited to see the place Noa goes to subsequent.