Seven dancers standing in a line literally rooted to the spot. For an hour, in front of an audience. It must be a dancer’s idea of hell.
You’d be forgiven too if you thought this sort of show would run out of steam in the space of 10 minutes. But you can rest assured that your time and money will be more than well spent on this multi-award-winning piece from Prague. If you manage to catch it during its short run in Edinburgh, that is.
Accompanied live by the Clarinet Factory – a wind and voice quartet reminiscent at times of the Cinematic Orchestra – vertedance work their way through a series of dynamic études on their given task, testing the limits of gravity, weaving their own interpersonal patterns, constantly pushing the boundaries of what might seem physically possible. By turns funny and moving, thoughtful and downright metaphorical, Correction never once lets go of the audience’s attention.
The dancers manage to come across as both an ensemble and a series of characters under Jiri Havelka’s subtle yet inspired direction. Havelka also ensures a clear and highly effective dramaturgical framework for the piece. Just as they might be coming to the brink of capitulation, the stakes are raised or a new incentive is added to the mix. Like Chekhov’s gun on the wall at the start of the first act, there is a pair of empty shoes standing in line next to the dancers throughout. And the possibility of untying one’s shoe-laces is also eventually tackled.
What keeps us interested is the question of whether individual or collective freedom is at all possible within a given – dramaturgical, or even socio-political – structure. With a kind of rigour and intelligibility not easily found in a dance piece, Correction explores a number of possible answers to this question, in ways that are entertaining, surprising and absolutely thrilling. And whilst the piece may not ultimately offer the closure one might hope for, there is certainly a rewarding finale in store.
A truly elevating piece of dance-theatre, in every way, that might even change the way you see the world.