Wintering is a work by award winning choreographer and dance artist, Aimee Smith. This production was inspired by an artist led voyage through the archipelago of Svalbard. A works touched by many talents from our little city.
The State Theatre Centre is such a beautiful installation providing the perfect setting for Wintering. The front rows of seats perched almost on stage, lending intimacy between the show and its audience.
Opening with footage showing the rawness and purity of the Arctic. Reminding us that this vast expanse of endless ice holds untold stories and beauty. Other worldly sounds accompany the opening visuals. Throwing shadows and grey over the landscape, a blanket of darkness almost plaguing the screen. I could not help but be in awe of this landscape, majestic but so fragile.
A sole dancer appears. Slowly moving forward, then retreats, repeating again shrouded in darkness suggesting isolation, being cut off from the rest of the world. You can only imagine how alone you would feel. Hidden away in the vastness of this part of the Earth.
Another dancer joins the stage and the seasons of the Artic are embodied in the two dancers. Winter moves slowly, the dancers dreamlike and fluid. There was something so sad and touching about their movements. Winter seems to go on forever, the dancers mimicking each other yet seeming to move as one.
Then Summer arrives. The dancers quicken their pace, almost frolicking in a merrier tempo. Their bodies springing to life like flowers suddenly blooming, peering out from under a bed of snow. The ice melts away and sunshine floods in bringing life but yet for only a fleeting moment. An Arctic’s Summer is short, so brief. The dancers’ free limbs quickly snapping back into a frozen state. The wintering taking hold as their movements slow and sadden. They stiffen, the ice setting, Winter returning.
Wintering is beautiful and thoughtful, showing the fragility of such a powerful and primal landscape. I found it very humbling to be confronted with such raw emotions toward a part of the world I really know nothing about.