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Midnight Oil

Notes on Liz Kinoshita, Midnight Oil Norrdans, March 5, 2024 Kulturhuset Dielseverkstaden, Stockholm

Liz Kinoshita, Midnight Oil, Norrdans, 2024. Photo: Lia Jacobi

Between a troupe that was configurated and armed with emphathetic, engaging demeanour and gestures in relation to the intimately gathered audience, and an audience in turn marked by an older, white middle-class demographic and unusually unqueer composition, Liz Kinoshita's Midnight Oil reeked with a certain fraicheur already from the outset, that if translated would amount to a field of daisies. As a hurricaine light is blown out early; a sort of transient summoning act sparks it all off in the dark. Allusions to neo-goth and horror genre has been finding itself in dance lately…hi A24’s Talk to me! Messing, but what ensues is a series of amoeba-formations with infectiously endearing group shimmy shimmy-ing that is about the hottest thing you’ve seen in dance lately. Certainly, that is true for me. It begins high and terminates on a more vaguer note. Before then, a cascade of ”trustfalls” amps up the allegorical reading of a gist here. That is; this edging state of hit-or-miss of the world today; always one step away of going awry but with hope and solace finding itself through the collective embrace and paw.

Liz Kinoshita, Midnight Oil, Norrdans, 2024. Photo: Lia Jacobi


By the way, importantly; do you remember Twin Shadow? The late 00’s/early 2010’s gave us insanely good seminal music like Lykke Li, Florence + The Machine, The XX, and more obscurely Metronomy,  Cut Copy, and similar acts. Used to love Twin Shadow with his 80’s new wave allusions, over what I realize over numbering, is over a decade ago. When learning that Twin Shadow scored Midnight Oil, expectations inevitably were going to spike up. Twin Shadows, like Dev Haynes and Blood Orange, or Massive Attack and Moby, has that canny ability to pierce into your heartstrings and headlocking you there to submission and just keeping jamming until euphoric impulses are released. Emotional ejaculation. That’s a very magnifying quality - but also very forgiving one - that sets a high bar for the performers to stay on par with. Not to say that they don’t, but while the charming group dynamics is quite flawless; the individual shine and their respective audience command is not "democratic" in the troupe. I abolutely do not believe in 100 % equality between the artists in my work as curator but something tells me this is more an unintentional outcome than one where such shine has deliberately between bestowed upon some to shoulder differently than others. The sequences of individual deliveries all looked featherly lyrical and sophisticated though. Going to have to wrap this up by saying this was more arousing altgeother than recent offers at Weld and MDT; our local stages in Stockholm; decidedly recurring destinations in the two next weeks, starting this weekend, again.

Ashik Zaman

Performers: Sam Huczkowski, Lander Casier, Kevin Julianto, Damini Gairola, Alberte Buch Gøbel, Sierra Kellman, Dengling Levine

Choreography & costume: Liz Kinoshita Scenography and light design: Tim Wouters

Music: Twin Shadow/George Lewis Jr

Artistic director, Norrdans: Martin Forsberg


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