Updated: Monday, 13th July 2020 @ 9:36pm

Review: Grand Finale @ HOME

Review: Grand Finale @ HOME

| By Lizzie Hyland

Internationally celebrated choreographer Hofesh Shechter and his company displayed a striking piece of apocalyptic dance performance on Wednesday evening at HOME.

Grand Finale is Shechter’s latest work featuring an exceptional ensemble of dancers and some truly astonishing choreography.

Described as “part gig, part dance, part theatre and wholly original”, Grand Finale is much more than that. It feels like watching the end of the world, like finding ourselves in the apocalypse and realising it was all our fault.

Although narrative is not the focus, the performance finds a way to reflect the political and ecological disasters around us, and somehow also our accountability in their demise.

The world of Grand Finale is violent and bleak, but it is a world full of anarchy and defiance. The audience are confronted with a world that resembles their own, but this time they can’t look away.

Shechter's use of sound, space and light accompanied by the unnerving movements of the dancers means for an uneasy viewing experience, but in the best possible way.

ANARCHY AND DEFIANCE: Grand Finale delivers a truly dystopian performance fused with moments of humour and comedy

The music is the perfect accompaniment - classical musicians play Franz Lehár and Tchaikovsky alongside Shechter’s own electronic score. It’s like going from watching the BBC Philharmonic at Bridgewater Hall to a techno rave at The White Hotel in one fell swoop.

The staging adds even more depth. Huge black blocks tower over the musicians and dancers like tombstones, moving amongst them, casting shadows and trapping the dancers in their seemingly infinite loop.

The dancers move as one but moments of individual turmoil punctuate the performance. The most chilling sequence has the dancers with open mouths, silently screaming as the choreography continues on, unwavered by their torment.

The talent of the company is obvious, not only because of the physicality and stamina required, but the emotion and commitment needed to create Shechter’s dystopian world.

Amongst all the suffering there are lighter moments, and even some comedy, in Grand Finale. Strength and optimism can be found in the interactions of the dancers, if you know how to look for it.

Images courtesy of Rahi Rezvani, with thanks.