Strict yet erratic; Freestyle by Rita Góbi review

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Freestyle Rita Góbi review

[A Rita Góbi review by Zsuzsanna Komjáthy]

It seems that Rita Góbi has changed something radically and fundamentally in the body language of her performances recently. The way of expression compared to her previous works has somehow shifted from an impulsive and instinctive, very personal and mercurial dancing to a strict, structured, apersonal but still erratic vocabulary – as we could observe it in the Aerowaves 20 selected Volitant (2017), in Vibration (2018) and now in her latest performance, Freestyle.

Freestyle Rita Góbi review
Ruri Mito & Rita Góbi performing Freestyle; photos by MU Theatre

In this particular choreography, Góbi and her excellent partner, whose moving is somehow the reciprocal of Góbi’s movements (it’s schematic yet introvert), Ruri Mito (who had performed a touching, intimate solo on L1danceFest in Hungary some years ago) are playing with the associations that a pool and sports can implicate. From the movements of swimming, jumping, running etc. to the impossible moves of two imaginary underwater creatures, they are displaying different forms of competition and togetherness.

Freestyle Rita Góbi review
Ruri Mito & Rita Góbi performing Freestyle; photos by MU Theatre

Short, dynamic images swopping around, and despite of their simplistic structures, each one of the microscenes bears a rich spectrum of movements. Not only the legs or the arms, but the eyeballs and the faces are dancing, all in parallel.

As I wrote before, in lieu of the former practice of spectacular impulsivity and inordinate yet rounded moves that you can be tempted and led by, now Góbi has compressed the movements into a kind of stillness that cannot break out but somehow crepitates under the skin. Thanks to that, a slip or rather a hopping in perception is developing. Watching Freestyle, we can never get real satisfaction. Chopped fragments of satisfaction is only what we get.

Freestyle Rita Góbi review
Ruri Mito & Rita Góbi performing Freestyle; photos by MU Theatre

However, this deprival is not only the consequence of the language – it is also the result of the sketchy structure of the choreography. Freestyle is full of great ideas, spectacular movements and scenes, still they are not settled under a coherent construction. As if there was no crystallized concept in the working process, the different episodes of doing sports are loosely set without an apex or a reason for the missing of that.

On the other hand, the quality of movements can be enough for an enjoyable performance. Especially, if they also evoke the movements of machines, that still recalls something from the choreographer’s previous almost-animalistic way of moving.* In Freestyle, concrete overlaps with abstraction, wildness overlaps with simplicity – and that conjunction expands the focus of the work, and disposes it into the discourse of strict movement-based researches where the assemblies are as multidimensional and inextricable, as the notions in conceptual dance.

*(my thoughts have just wandered to Kleist’s writing on the gracefulness of the movements of the marionettes)

Details:

Creators/performers: Ruri Mito, Rita Góbi. Music: Dávid Szegő. Light: Pavla Beranová. Dramaturge: Anna Zsigó. Choreography: Rita Góbi. 10/04/2019. MU Theatre

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