Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern London
Thursday 07 May 2009
Hundreds of pendulums hang in the huge Turbine Hall of Tate Modern. They're delicate things, polished steel cones hanging by metal threads, rather than something from a grandfather clock or Edgar Allan Poe. William Forsythe's dancers weave in and out, setting them swinging, gently stopping them.
The Sadler's Wells Focus on Forsythe comes to a close with art installations, some of the finest work in the season. For Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time, a piece about gravity and momentum, half of the Turbine Hall is set aside as a dancing space, with the audience watching from the edges or from the bridge across the Hall.
Forsythe's setting, realised by Max Schubert, shows off the scale of this space. The weights hang a few inches from the floor. The gleaming threads stretch upwards, almost to the full height of the hall. The dancing is lit by electric lamps, and by the changing spring light that comes through the Turbine Hall's long skylights. Thom Willems's music hums and sighs.
Having a stage this big, and an audience this close, means that you see dancing in the far distance and right under your nose. The performers sprint flat out through this huge space, or wind their way around a single wire. They'll take care not to touch a thread, or deliberately set the pendulums swinging.
Throughout, Forsythe's dancers are beautifully absorbed in their work. I've never seen them so relaxed, so unself-conscious. One woman tilts an arm, a hip, as if trying out movements in a classroom mirror. A man paces back and forth, setting different pendulums swinging in unison. They're humans looking at the laws of physics: contemplative, with some vertiginous plunges.
The range of movement is considerable. Several dancers burst into hopscotch, jumping from one foot to another. There are classical jumps, and wriggling moves. Solos slip into duets and group dances. One man lies down under a weight, holding his stomach muscles in to give it room to move freely.
Forsythe leaves his dancers, and his audience, to explore gravity, without pointing out meanings or morals. It's a spacious, precise and assured piece. Performance over, members of the audience can't resist. All around the hall, people lean forward to touch a pendulum, just enough to make it swing.
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Game of Thrones, season 5: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as he can keep his clothes on
Martin Scorsese 'in shock' after death on set of new film Silence
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
The secret joke hidden in Silence of the Lambs' most famous line
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures