Project X and Project O team up for an immersive night at the Art School
- Claire Sawers
- 14 March 2018
A compelling and visceral evening of dance, spoken word and performance
Dance company Project X, which 'celebrates and champions the African diaspora in Glasgow' paired up with Project O, London-based dancers Alexandrina Hemsley and Jamila Johnson-Small for a one-night takeover of the Art School. Dance, spoken word and performance art intersected over three floors as part of Buzzcut Festival's monthly experimental night, Double Thrills.
Project O's immersive dance work Voodoo, began by asking everyone to put their phones in sealed envelopes before going in. A projector drip-fed facts onto a wall — from pop culture, the black rights movement, UK and US news and the dancers' own lives — to introduce things that confuse and outrage them: institutional misogyny, marginalisation of black people and that time Spice Girl Mel B did a sketchy TV show about voodoo culture.
Vital and visceral, their carefully choreographed clapback left time for a sweaty dance soup at the end, where the audience got loose, throwing arms around in the shadows to booming dancehall and 90s house hits.
Upstairs, Project X lead artist Ashanti Harris explored Scotland's links to West Africa and the Caribbean with her multimedia installation/ performance Jumbies, and downstairs, dancers made jaws drop with their pissed off, compelling workouts.
Claricia Kruithof showed her impressive ability to morph from delicate, traditional Indonesian head tilts and toe lifts to full body crumples and kinetic wigouts; Kemono L Riot seemed to summon up centuries of ancestral angst with his tortured lip-syncing and Shaheeda Sinckler and Divine Tasinda fused Outkast tracks with a voiceover call to action, ending on an incensed, fed-up note, with fitful spasms of movement.
Reviewed at The Art School, Glasgow