In Process Day, the Scottish Dance Theatre brings the sinuous, dark nights at a club to life with pulsing music and shadowy dance. The entire performance is bathed in darkness, the androgynous black and white costumes turning the dancers into one gyrating mass. They coalesce into different nocturnal creatures, forming a spiny whale or a quaking bird before breaking apart into smaller couplings or mysterious formations.
The show opens on an individual, flexing the muscles of his arm back and forth in a strange-self contemplation before being joined by others in an erotic dance. The theme of bodies and fitness continues throughout the performance, with displays of strength preceding intimate dances. At other times, female dancers seem to become peculiar tools in the workout routines of men. In a particularly striking image, a man pumps a woman’s head up and down much like a dumbbell, provocatively placing the female and male bodies in webs of use and abuse.
Sometimes the focus on the body renders a whole a part, the dancers assuming inhuman shapes and jerking in unfamiliar movements suggesting more basic, even cellular interactions. Delicate, precise steps interrupt chaotic pulsating, in one moment suggesting the interactions of organs and the next an even more primal, basic interaction.
This theatrical, ambitious new piece reconfigures human relations into a disquieting new, yet hauntingly familiar dance. Ominous and alluring, Process Day touches on one of the raw membranes of society, putting club culture under a microscope to provoke wonder and scrutiny.
Words: Emily Hall
Process Day, Zoo Southside, Aug 24-26, 7pm