Double Murder presented by Holfesh Shechter Company at Sadler’s Wells, is a double bill of two contrasting choreographic performances. Clowns, originally staged by the company in 2016, is playful and sarcastic, while The Fix – a brand-new piece, born during lockdown, is more meditative and abstract.
An empty stage, plenty of smoke, and moving lights create the perfect backdrop and surroundings for the dancers. Their bodies create beguiling shapes and move in rhythm, or in opposition, to the original hypnotic soundtrack, to tell their tale. Neither pieces have a storyline as such, but instead take the audience on an emotional journey.
The first part, Clowns, invites us into a dark and cynical world where murder is a joke, a show to keep the audience entertained. Fluid movements to the pagan-like music interchange with marching. Performers act like a perfect mechanism: they twist, twitch, spin, and execute. In one scene, they move absolutely synchronously, like one big breathing creature; then, they are the shades at the horizon; now, they are aggressive individuals, chasing and betraying one another.
The second part, The Fix, was born of the director’s quest to find another relationship between his dancers – and more broadly – between us, strangers sitting next to each other in the theatre. Aiming to depict care and support, acceptance and forgiveness, love and hope. Through search and exploration, the dancers come to unity, discovering all the happiness of the world in one simple action: a hug.
In the final scene, we see a couple of them starting a group hug, which leads the dancers down from the stage, to offer their hugs to the audience. The music, tense at the beginning and passionate throughout the performance, becomes peaceful and cheerful in the finale. It’s a group dynamic meditation, led by Shechter and his company.
Both performances together make up a brilliant evening of modern dance at its best, and I would highly recommend everyone who loves the genre not to miss Double Murder on the Sadler’s Wells stage until September 18th.