Embodied Cognition is the scientific theory that our mental processes are heavily influenced by the body, sensory and motor systems intertwined with the mental realm. This theory drawing parallel to metaphysical practises such as divination, alchemy, shamanism and hypnosis – all with a holistic acknowledgement of mind – body – soul. Exploring both the scientific and the spiritual and how they intertwine in new work No-How Generator, choreographer Matthias Sperling, alongside fellow dancer Katye Coe guide us all on a ritual-like hour.
Establishing a temple-like atmosphere, cushions are positioned around the rectangular dance space, we given the option to either sit on the ground or on a chair if preferred. Sperling and Coe ‘reading’ the room, gauging a feel of what and who surrounds them – this something that will ultimately transform the evening as no two shows will ever be the same energetically, we ourselves apart of the ritual, everyone accessing the evening in their own way.
Shaman-like, the pair evoke a steadily trance-centric piece, steady repetitive sways eventually causing a meditative state to overcome the space, sequences constantly asking for us to follow their lead, our heads constantly shifting from left to right to keep up with their ceremony – playing around with perspective, the piece embodying a quiet magnetism. A beautiful drone accompanies the hour, hums – whether you’re conscious of it or not encouraging a relaxing state. Movements swaying from the sustained, to the more vigorous and loud – the pair conjure up various ideas for me, from rich ancient epics to materialising the invisible. A potent watch asking for all to live in the present and switch off from the outside world!
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Matthias Sperling: No-How Generator was shown on Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd April 2022 at the Lilian Baylis Studio (Sadler’s Wells) To find out more about the production, visit here…