Jo Lloyd: Confusion for Three

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Choreographer Jo Lloyd’s problem is not how to make work that is new but how to make work in a new way. Per Marianne Moore:

Unconfusion submits
its confusion to proof

How do you make a cofusion for three? How do you reinsert a little chaos into an artistic process, a way of making work, which has become habitual? How do you generate productive perplexities, the potential for surprise?

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We discover Rebecca Jensen sitting on a large square of white matting, stretching her hamstrings and the rest. Shian Law enters from behind the seating bank. Jo Lloyd follows. These two put on sneakers and then leave the room, jogging, heading out into the foyer through the main doors. They’re gone a long time. Jensen continues stretching. When Law and Lloyd return they look flushed, as if they’ve just run around the block. What really happened behind the closed doors, outside the theatre. Is this a metaphor for the performance as a whole? The dancers undergo an experience, but one that is hidden from the audience.

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The dance proper begins. First Jo Lloyd. Then Shian Law. And then Rebecca Jensen. Solos give way to duets and then trios, then duets, solos and so on, the various combinations flowing together, the dancers either improvising or responding to an obscure cueing system or both. Their movements are grounded in a kind of non-technical vocabulary that ostentatiously announces its emancipation from history with loose flailing arms, heads thrown back and lots of reeling. Bodies move like streamers in a strong wind or like inflatable wavey air dancers: whippling and ripping upward then collapsing or folding up.

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