“What does being a man today entail? Kari Hoaas and her cast of five male dancers give a multifaceted answer. “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in?Reason! how infinite in faculties! (…) the beauty of the?world! the paragon of animals! and yet to me, what is ?this quintessence of dust?”
If it were only this simple! Today´s heartfelt sigh follow the Shakespearean quote from Hamlet of 1603. This quote gives an idealized image of man, something choreographer Kari Hoaas has used as a starting point for for the evening length work “On the desperate edge of now”. But like the work´s title hints, is today´s reality far from this historic ideal. Then the ambiugity of the quote´s last question rings truer with what is presented on stage.
For here it is a dark and confusing image that is created through the work´s search for a good answer. The commitment is definilty there, and even though the dancers at times can seem somewhat rigid, often and suddenly there are flashes of resolved beauty and collaboration, but it is darkness and confusion that characterize the performance. It is weirldy engaging.
The five male dancers slip in and out of various roles, and create a world where it is as natrual to hit the wall as to showcase male power. Towards the end of the hourlong performance, a series of beautiful solos and group interactions create a climax. But in line with the soul of this work, this beauty and “ideal” is broken with a text from the band Queen´s classic “Bohemian Rhapsody”. This killing quote is brutal and raw, and jerked at the young audiences in yesterdays school performance. Until then, they had been sitting quitely and attentive, concentrating on the stage. But for tonight´s grown up audiences, this ambigous portrait of masculine dilemmas might create different reactions. One thing is for sure: Kari Hoaas and her cast of five male dancers, show that the role of today´s man is layered and multifaceted. Here was a lot to make one wonder, but I do not know if I am the wiser. – Lars Elton, Budstikka
Review “Budstikka”, April 3rd, 2014