Exzeb’s Artism is tense, dense and darkly ironic. Three dancers limber up as one (David Gellura) appears on screen, the bleached monochrome film imparting a cadaverous cast to his deadpan talk about dancers’ routines, adrenalin hits, post-performance depression. Above all, about choreographers, who, he contends, are neither good enough dancers to appear on stage nor bad enough to be kept off it, and who feed off dancers’ artistry to resell as their own. This bitter observation is followed by a sharp, technically complex trio on stage, brilliantly executed – and tautly choreographed. The dancers are Gellura, Merel Cornet and Sophia Preidel; choreography is by “Exzeb”.
In a work that even more deftly struck the balance between its component parts, Artism by Exzeb was a razor-sharp meditation on the personhood of the dancer. Outlining the exploitation of the performing body in heavy-duty philosophising language, using dance as example medium par excellence by which to ponder whom the subjects and objects of art really are. Held within an airtight stage design – lighting, projection and music deployed in pitch-perfect measure – we never got lost in the thoughts, but were seamlessly lifted into an exhilarating final sequence in which dancers David Gellura, Merel Cornet and Sophia Preidel fulfilled the promise of the work; ‘disappearing’ into sheer movement to sublime effect, winding up the most pleasurable Resolution! programme I’ve reviewed so far.