1 Click Away
Choreographer: Greta Gauhe in collaboration with the dancers
Composer: Andy Trewren
Dancers (Cast 1 ): Alka Nauman, Hannah Adams, Marta Stepien, Lucie Palazot
Cast 2: Hannah Adams, Marta Stepien, Natalie Sloth Richter, Greta Gauhe
Tutors: Eva Recacha and Sue MacLennan
Poster Design: Lucie Palazot
Light Design: Charles Webber and Giuliana
Production support: Imogen Harvey and Richard Pye
Performance at the Place, Founders studio & at the Resolution Festival 2020, the Place
1st of NOV 2019, 21st of Jan 2020
In the immersive dance performance “1 Click Away”, the audience will follow four women onto a journey into the world of packaging materials. In an artful and engaging display, parcels and cardboard boxes are combined and dismantled to create temporary sculptures and landscapes. Background to the piece is the huge increase in packaging waste produced by how we shop online. We want everything to be available, we want it to be cheap, and we want it now. The consequences of such behaviour not only involve mountains of unnecessary waste, but also tough working conditions for logistics workers and drivers. “1 Click Away” takes a rather personal perspective by exploring the waste material in relation to the dancers’ bodies. Given how the excessive production of materials will influence our lives in the future, however, darker connotations should not come as a surprise…
‘"1 Click Away’ begins with four female dancers standing in a line across the stage, rhythmically and ritualistically passing used cardboard boxes to each other. It is manual. It is physically exhausting. They are sweating. Most bodies working for the world’s biggest delivery companies are exploited like this day in, day out.
Clad in high-vis vests and white t-shirts with the ironic slogans ‘Make History’ and ‘Have Fun’ branded on the rear, the women pass all the boxes from one side of the room to create a structure, only to destroy the edifice and then start the box-passing process again from the other side of the space.
Whilst it might seem pretty odd to repeat it, Gauhe’s beautiful use of nuance lifts the repetition to another level. From the new side, dancers create rhythms and change speeds as they pass the boxes, cutting the repetition with a marvellous tension, which is unleashed when the dancers carefully construct a box-jenga that nearly reaches the ceiling. Even the faintest breath would make it tumble.
The dancers invite audience members to help them create an even larger cardboard box monument to overwhelm the performance space. We retreat back comfortably to our childlike disposition to find story in inanimate waste.
Gauhe’s piece is a manifestation of a box: it is multi-dimensional, multi-layered and wrapped in paradox. It viscerally exposes the damaging environmental effects of waste, yet in the same breath draws attention to the many people who rely on logistics/delivery jobs to put food on the table. And in another perhaps more innocent way the piece is simply about playing with boxes.
The lasting message which I took away was the unexpected delight in realising the things we take for granted and use everyday can still make us smile. ‘1 Click Away’ lies on a continuum between play and more sinister ideas such as exploitation, not to mention its ability to demonstrate how we can find beauty in the things we chuck away." Katie Hagan/ Dance Art Journal
"The approach is to let the boxes do the talking, and Gauhe’s choreography for her four dancers is focused on enhancing their eloquence. But in making the inanimate boxes the principal characters, 1 Click Away inevitably implicates not only their warehouse sorters, packagers and dispatchers, but also the shoppers whose collective proclivity for online purchases has clicked up a proliferation of cardboard waste. 1 Click Away is not self-righteously didactic but Gauhe gently eases the audience into participation and self-awareness at the beginning of the work by asking them to pass boxes from the back of the auditorium down to the stage, where Marta Stepien unpacks them and discards the containers. All four disappear behind the carboard wall and burst through it, redistributing, rearranging and rebuilding the boxes, which is the active choreographic task of the entire work. An inspired piece of theatrical anarchy is to pile up a line of boxes to block the view of the front row of the audience." Nicholas Minns (writing about dance)