How far are we willing to go for entertainment? Have we become desensitised to violence? What does it mean to be human – and to hope? These are just some of the big questions asked by Hofesh Shechter, the internationally celebrated choreographer whose new double bill opens next month at Sadler’s Wells. Titled Double Murder, it comprises two contrasting pieces for our times: Clowns and The Fix.
The former is described as “a macabre comedy of murder and desire”, where looming and percussive soundscapes meet mesmerising choreography. Unfolding as a “whirlwind of choreographed anarchy”, it asks where we draw the line when it comes to performance, amusement and distraction. Unsettling narratives unfold through intense, staccato movements – highlighting the talent of 10 boundary-breaking dancers. Ultimately, the piece holds up a mirror to an aggressive, and often threatening, world.
By contrast, The Fix is fragile and tender – offering human, raw and compassionate moments. It’s a compelling antidote to the events of Clowns, trading in what Shechter describes as “the most valuable currency of our time – hope.” What stands out is a sense of touch – something which has been absent for many over the past 18 months. Dancers embrace, collide and unfold around one another. The piece is undoubtedly poignant and thought provoking – delving into our deepest emotions.
2020 marked the 10th anniversary of one of Shechter’s most iconic pieces: the acclaimed classic Political Mother. The powerful work, which tackles ever-present themes of political indoctrination and totalitarianism, premiered at the Brighton Festival in 2010. Now, it’s been reimagined as POLITICAL MOTHER UNPLUGGED, a potent new version performed by a fresh generation of young dancers. The updated edition, to be performed across Europe later this year (although not at Sadler’s Wells), retains the “ferocity and spirit” of the original, whilst transposing the narrative for our era. Audiences are drawn into a world of visceral emotion and intense sensation – set against digital projections and original music.
Double Murder runs 14-18 September at Sadler’s Wells, London. Find out more here.
1. Hofesh Shechter Company. Clowns, as performed for BBC.
2. Hofesh Shechter Company. CLOWNS. Choreography and Music by Hofesh Shechter. Lighting Design by Lee Curran. Performed by Shechter II photo © Rahi Rezvani.
3. The Fix, Rehearsals 2020 © Chris Nash.