AWESOME Review: Arch 8, Tetris ⋅
Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, October 8 ⋅
Review by David Zampatti ⋅
I can’t claim I’m familiar with Tetris, despite its status as one of the greatest of all video games since the Russian Alexey Pajitnov completed it in 1984, when many of the parents of the kids in the audience at PICA hadn’t been born.
I do know Rubik’s Cube, though, and Twister, and Stack, and all the other games the strong, agile, funny and empathetic dancers Ivan Ugrin, Paulien Truijen, Lorenzo Capodieci and Zahira Suliman from Erik Kaiel’s Dutch company Arch 8 have brought to this year’s Awesome Festival.
The four performers (who I suspect the kids will remember, Wiggles style, as the Orange One, the Green One, the Red One and the Blue One) work their bodies through intricate recreations of the games, like organisms that fit together and break – or slide – apart.
The technical skill and the load-bearing strength of all four is remarkable. Even the hops that propel them from set-up to set-up on the bare black stage remind me of excruciating hours of judo classes at the YMCA of my childhood.
Kaiel’s choreography is tight as a drum, with an energy bordering on violent, and the kids and their wranglers were spellbound.
Even when some of them got just a little twitchy during the concluding Rubik’s Cube routine, it was soon forgotten as the performers ran and clambered amok through the audience and then led most of them onstage for a exuberant all-in finale.
Tetris is a blast!
Photo: Didier Philspart.