As logic as dance is. About “Solo Logic”

Inta Balode

The work should be done properly, so it’s time to tell about the performance (real performance not the events or outcomes of couple hours of creation), which was part of the Cal-Laboratory Kitchen 2012. Solo Logic (choreographed by Alexanadre Iseli and Jazmin Chiodi from Ireland, performed by Alexandre Iseli, www.iselichiodi.com) was presented twice – once in Sandiego (UCSD Wagner Studio Theater 3) and once in Tijuana (Casa de Cultura). The showing was an opposition and comparison to the process based classes and afternoon experiments of the Kitchen; it was a chance to get to “being in the theater” mood and it was also a strong reference to the important themes of the Cal-Lab: how the work is put together; is it a closed entity; how personal or universal the themes are; why (if it does?) being on stage is so different even if the stage is the same studio which just a while ago was temple of unlimited existence? Both times the performance was very warmly accepted by the audiences, and there are reasons for that.

I always like solo work because of their honesty and because of voyeuristic inclinations all of us have on some or other extent. It is a wonderful chance to take my time watching from darkness out, watching somebody’s life while being safe and not attacked. Safe zone is significantly reduced during last years of interactivity trends, that is why I’m even more thankful to Alexandre for a chance to look at him, follow his story, his glimpses, his trip, his doubts, his attempts to be logic and not to be logic at the same time.

Alexandre Iseli is an amazing, virtuoso dancer, but not in sense how high he jumps but how precise everything is (I can see that he definitely can do much more but the story is about less not more). He possesses 100 % and more awareness of every body millimeter and the same can be said about the space and structure of the work in general – everything is precise, logical, right, organized, planned, scheduled and decent. And at the same time he is not in his shoes at all – green bulky sneakers in dance with tap dance elements, bent shadow behind the screen, talking while in the darkness, talking French, talking fast…. He is so much not in his colors – black T-shirt at some point gets nicely folded (remember? awareness of every millimeter!) and put into an empty jar next to the colorful ones (I was sure those are less and more chemical fruit jams not T-shirts). This is where the value of the solo lies – it is exactly what it looks and at the same time it is about everything except what we see, about everything except dance, things on stage, video (Francesco Cesalli). It is about the moment when Alexandre stands in the upright corner with his hand up, stands and stands like if getting ready for a big thing, for a big thing where everything he knew before and everything he will get to know, where all of that will be needed to succeed. Or on the contrary – everything that will come will clean things, habits and logic away and he will fit without adjustments.

Ok, this was impossible to understand chapter, here comes summary in simple phrases and basic contextualization. The solo looks too honest to be real but I didn’t catch the moments of faking. The solo is too calm to be boring; it so unobtrusive that the latecomers don’t disturb it and this is another sign of real life. In the work there is little bit of everything and it’s not a problem, that’s how life is, that’s how contemporary art is. Conceptual – moments when “nothing” happens. Movement based – elaborated and perfectly performed choreography which obviously demands very good training. Circus – green huge sneakers and tap dance. Handicapped – crawling with microphone like if his legs were numb. Equipped – getting dressed with all the sporty wraps and ties, having video projection. Conceptual again – the thing he was getting ready for never happens (at least not while we are looking). Old fashioned continuation of the work – “the thing” will come other day, in other solo, when the solo logic will be followed by solo illogic. Trendy continuation – solo will turn into diptych and later triptych because of the huge outcomes of the research of solo performances. Human continuation – some day very soon Jazmin and Alexandre will premiere their new work.