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.
Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Morgan Freeman on the riot-focused coverage of the Baltimore protests: 'F**k the media'
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Length of pregnancy can vary by up to five weeks, scientists discover
Penny Dreadful, series 2 episode 1, review: It is still gloriously silly
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
Eurovision 2015: What date and time is the song contest and who are the favourites to win?
Game of Thrones, season 5 episode 4, review: Sansa in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show