Intrepid: Dauntless; courageous resolute fearlessness
Bazaar: A fair or sale at which miscellaneous articles are sold, often for charitable purposes
The promotional blurb promises a mixture of dance, music, poetry, audio-visual and hybrid acts “of the adventurous kind” to raise money for Amy Mauvan to study dance at the Limon Institute in New York.
Pah Homestead is a grand old dame, now part of the Wallace Art Trust. It provides a luxurious and elegant backdrop for the random shenanigans of the moment.
A nice touch art-exhibition-style is the wine (sponsored by Whitehaven), cheese and nibbles to take the edge off and we know instantly that this is a browsing space.
Soft blues and reds cast light against white walls, bay windows and works of contemporary art. The First Impressions are of Amy Mauvan, Jesse Quaid, Sarah Holmes and Samantha Rawnsley-Wood of Etched Dance Productions in plain blacks with focused gestural conversational improvisations, in duet and trio. There’s a large set of wings, one stone dog alongside two human ‘puppies’ playing, and humorous shufflings and scrapings in and out of the rooms accompanied by the richly smooth and captivating voice of Monique Shelford. This compelling musician proved her worth again at the close of the evening.
Creator/performer solos are the main fare, with performers appearing casually, sometimes migrating to different locations, often merging with our own audience choreography: Stand..walk.. stare.. lean.. sit.. chat.. stop.. sip.. look..
Tracey Templeton, a black silhouette on the stairs entices us up past the skeleton scrum into her plastic ‘painting with body’ enclosure. In Honesty Please, Sarah Holmes in a blue tube dress edges and jerks us from room to mezzanine and disappears completely. Georgia Giesen, gazing upwards at a ceiling projection of trees starts and stops in contemplative repose to drum and base.
Duet What can I do here features a verbal accompaniment by Brad Johnson, the cup-of-tea-toting Abe Lincoln lookalike. He reads (was this the advertised poetry?), and Jesse Quaid entwines herself around a chair to stories about rugby, KFC and other vagaries of life we see in our papers.
Icaro is a sinewy solo by Eric Beltran performed in silence and to “The Tartu piano” by Max Ritcher. It has an ancient, primal and spiritual feel. A tassled white cloth fixed to a leather headpiece is used effectively as both costume and prop. His dignified authoritative stillness, shaking and sustained sequences are hypnotic at times, embodying, one assumes; the medicine song of a Shaman.
Intrepid Bazaar could easily have been called Upstairs Downstairs. It’s a two and a half hour programme and the A4 sheet complete with map, info and grid timetable is an effort to follow. It seems simpler to just lose oneself in the arbitrary moment. I get the feeling that if I stop in one place too long I might miss something, but aside from SMS Collective which is stopped due to “an incident” and Monkey Mum by Amy Mauvan I get a glimpse of most performers and can take the time to absorb some of the eclectic objet d’art.
There is something for everyone. A favourite part of the evening is an unplanned interlude in an art installation: God’s Little Launderette by Brendan McGorry. The tiny colourful room that takes me back to the feeling of being in a homemade fort (only better), promotes a wonderful spontaneous discussion on PINA to the backbeat of a roulette wheel on an agitator in a golden washing machine.
At any bazaar there are trinkets and curios and the odd treasure. The take home item for me is is Clare Luiten almost bursting out of her skin dancing a short improvised (methinks) piece in a short slip to a dramatic violin accompaniment (composer name absent). The energy in the room suddenly lifts and damn near explodes as she pours herself out in spades, whirling and flinging, completely owning the space with consummate ease. There is a quiet “that was fun” and happy sigh as she walks through us, somewhat breathless as we are.
I have to borrow Forrest Gump’s well hashed line here and say Intrepid Bazaar is aptly named and definitely “like a baax aav chaaclates”. You never know what you’re gonna get: And that is the secret of its success.
It’s not one of those ‘knock you on the head’ wow nights so much as an enjoyable fun and relaxing immersion in arty whim, and as the name suggests; dauntless fancy. It is a well organised event and it is fantastic to see the camaraderie within the dance industry supporting one of our own to fly.
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