There’s a clean, healthy lightness that runs through TaikaBox’s meditation on the limits of the body. It’s there in the loose, pale, yogic clothing, the curled, crisp lines of the digital projections, and most of all in the controlled choreography that sends momentum travelling through each dancer to come up curled in a fist or lunge.
Inspired by shamans and mysticism, Beyond the Body unfolds in a series of short pieces, accompanied by wall and floor projections that interact with, or spring from, the energy of the dancers. All are loosely linked by a woman taking notes to record her spiritual journey. Ensemble pieces fall into patterns of mirroring and harmony, duets are grounded and exploratory with bold, straight-lined shapes; and in one captivating passage a woman solos on a landscape of bronzed leaves, her backscreen shadow transmogrifying into various woodland creatures.
The projections on the floor shade out sharp shadows, recording a swirl or limb extension. Sometimes they seem to spring raggedly from the dance; sometimes they mark out geometric shapes, or symbols with a spiritual root. Incense in the air is a nice touch; perhaps that was part of what made the experience feel so calming. But despite this the piece does seem as if its episodes could be rearranged in any order, and lacks a sense of building towards something. As an exploration (or abstract piece) there needn’t necessarily be resolution, but we want to feel as if something has been said. An edit down to its sharpest moments could give this Zen-work a little more focus.