The sound of traffic whizzing past, soft and amorphous in the distance, it becomes as soothing as the sea, the wash of the tides, the space is empty and free until someone lays a road, and inevitably it is necessary to cross the road. The first step the creation of the white and black stripes of a pedestrian crossing, the steps after that are human, the simple act of walking, leaning and falling into space one foot after the other.
Introducing themselves and their different sized footwear which sets the stage for their struggle for dominance in Walk-Man, the dancers of Danish physical theatre company Don Gnu are Petras Lisauskas, Jeppe Kaas Vad, Jesper Møller Hermansen and Kasper Buus, pedestrians in a public space waiting for the signal to cross.
Does the traffic signal withhold or grant permission, controlling their actions, or does it protect them? Buus attempts to assert control but Lisauskas takes command, what begins as an apparently straightforward interaction spinning off into abstract movement through the shared space which dwindles as they dance, forcing the men to come together as they leap across bridges and chasms to the next remaining island.
Stepping into the unknown, they weave between geometric passages of infinite complexity before the illusion collapses and the next rises to take its place, the quartet shifting between themes of conformity versus individuality and collaboration, a prisoner and his guards, the collective effort of the struggle to the pinnacle, Walk Like an Egyptian and Abbey Road, crawling like a worm one moment and the ascent of man the next.
Spinning magic which turns black to white as the light slips through the cracks, Walk-Man is choreographed by Don Gnu founders Jannik Elkær and Kristoffer Louis Andrup Pedersen with music by Alice Carreri and lighting and video by Christoffer Brekne, less comedic than A Snowball’s Chance in Hell and less narrative than Raiders of the Grey Gold, both previously performed at the Fringe, more experimental and abstract but equally mesmerising and enjoyable.
Walk-Man runs at ZOO Southside until Sunday 28th August