Meeting Place

This duet by Hamish MacPherson and Martine Painter plays with visually unfolding an algorithmic formula. As the algorithm evolves, a curiously intimate and sometimes comic relationship between two human beings emerges.

Performed at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre (15 November 2012), Chisenhale Dance Space (23 November 2012), Hotel Elephant Gallery  (19 July 2012), The Place: Robin Howard Dance Theatre, London (10 January 2012).

(…) a pleasingly mathematical duet (…)

Time Out

(…) The piece reflected a thoroughly considered approach, building up a number of simple movements in a formulaic way. In spite of the seemingly rigid structure it is based on, Meeting Place had a certain refreshing, unrehearsed quality. The choreographers-turned-performers were delightfully unpredictable as they engaged in playful dialogue with each other, boldly sustaining moments of stillness and amplifying the humour in the occasional and apparently coincidental moments with their deadpan faces and absolute conviction.

Germaine Cheng (Resolution! Review)

(…) a moderately charming game of repetition, accumulation and amusing absurdity. As a pair of performers, MacPherson and Painter have a nice connection and they string together simple units of movement – an arm swing, a raised leg, a vocal yelp – in a manner that manages to keep our attention for almost the full twenty minutes. Some genuine laughs out loud and a nice visible logic at play.

Lyndsey Winship (Time Out dance editor)

“(…) As the duo danced, they gradually deviated from the formula, letting the algorithm descend into chaos before building it back up again.  Surprisingly, the dance looked unrehearsed and nearly improvised, as if it evolved naturally on stage. Even though their movements were largely predetermined and their faces carefully kept blank, the dancers often looked like they were responding to each other and having a conversation. The audience was left with a sense that, no matter how automated, dance is still a human endeavour.”

Lisa Grossman (New Scientist)

A shorter version of the piece, 1212341234577, was performed at The Place on 3 July 2011.

Meeting Place was made with support from Eva Recacha (choreography mentoring), Marica Melotti (photography), Marco Benozzi (film), Patrick Miller (design) and the following institutions: