Under Flat Sky

Under Flat Sky commissioned by the Museum of Art Kochi

Choreography Billy Cowie,

visual art Silke Mansholt,

voice Rowan Godel,

costume Holly Murray

 

 

Edge of Nowhere/Under Flat Sky 
Dance Base Edinburgh Aug 2015
Edge of Nowhere/Under Flat Sky is a ravishing double bill choreographed by Billy Cowie. The sheer beauty of Under Flat Sky is breathtaking: a visual projection designed by German artist Silke Mansholt and vocals by Rowan Godel are all part of an entrancing whole. Tiny poems (such as ‘Ice cracks, ice thaws / And so into my arms you will melt / Then flow away’) introduce each section. First one dancer, then two stand in front of the screen so that the patterns are projected onto their bodies; they appear to be dissolving into the changing landscape or seascape. Their Butoh-inspired gestures are slow, minimal and totally mesmerizing.

Stephanie Green - The Skinny Sep 2015

 

Look deep between the lines of Silke Mansholt’s projected landscapes in Under Flat Sky and you’ll see two female dancers, embedded live in the drawings. Words will flit onto the screen, poetically wistful with loss and longing as is the music that drifts in like a remembered perfume. The whole is akin to a series of many-layered haiku: exquisite, haunting.

Mary Brennan, Glasgow Herald, 28 Aug 2015

 

Under Flat Sky/Edge of Nowhere
Beautiful and expertly realised, two highly successful fusions of sound, image and dance. Presented by Dance Base as part of their well programmed season of dance for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Under Flat Sky and Edge of Nowhere comprise two contrasting dance pieces choreographed by Billy Cowie. Both make incredibly effective use of projected back images designed by Silke Mansholt, and fuse audio, music, images, poetry, story and dance in an highly compelling manner.

Under Flat Sky is a measured and meditative work for two dancers, performed beautifully by Simone Schmidt and Kanako Yamamoto. The work is in several short sections, which are intercalated with recordings of poetry, words projected onto the screen. Clothed in white gauze to capture Mansholt’s projections, the dancers appear to be cut-out from the slowly evolving textures on the screen behind them, their bodies producing sharp, dark shadows there. Schmidt and Yamamoto’s slow, gentle movements are expertly controlled, and in this respect are reminiscent of some aspects of Japanese butoh. Bathed in the textures of the light, their bodies become almost sculptural in quality.
Edge of Nowhere, both created for and performed by Indian dancer Rajyashree Ramamurthi, is more light-hearted and is structured around a series of edifying short stories apparently from Ramamurthi’s life. Each story is accompanied by its own short dance piece, Cowie’s choreography inspired by Odissi, one of the oldest surviving classical dance forms of India. Ramamurthi’s stories, which have been pre-recorded, are very amusing and delivered charmingly, Ramamurthi lip-syncing to the audio. The choreography is in some ways simple, but is nevertheless highly effective and expertly realised by Ramamurthi.
Both these works are highly successful consolidations of sound, image and dance. They are understated yet striking, and work very well together in this nicely balanced programme.
Robert Dow, TVBOMB, 29 August 2015