Requardt and Rosenberg
Sat 25th July, 6pm and 8.30pm, Greenham Business Park
A truck arrives from an unknown location with a mystery shipment. From the creators of Electric Hotel, Future Cargo is a contemporary sci-fi dance show; a strange outdoor spectacle for a headphone-wearing audience.
With a retro-futuristic aesthetic reminiscent of 1960s sci-fi and 60s catalogue-chic alike, Future Cargo was by turns entertaining and surreal.
The innovative set featured a travellator or conveyor belt inside a glass fronted shipping container on a flat bed truck, enabling figures and props to glide by.
With impeccable timing, anonymous, gender-neutral mannequin-like figures in silver body suits passed by, performing sometimes synchronised slow-motion repeated actions - from swinging a tennis racquet to dancing sinuously in a tassled dress, jogging and walking.
Plants, a water cooler and other props and pieces of clothing and accessories started to appear in the rotations, creating a continuous loop of the mundane yet stylish that changed and mutated.
The choreography was cleverly timed - there were just three dancers who ran round the back in time to to reappear at the start of the conveyor belt - managing to create a continuous flow of people and objects. The audience listened to a binaural soundtrack on headphones, made up of groovy music, white noise, and a collage of words and phrases.
Eventually a dancer broke rank, climbing onto the roof of the lorry to swap places with the driver. Watching this at the time of the pandemic, it was easy to draw associations with delivery drivers, pandemic purchases, office, sport and dressing up items only temporarily needed, and repetitive days and activities - plus the divisions between those out working in the public zone and those able to stay home.
The fishtank-like set created a voyeuristic feel, the silver aliens silently performing a simulacrum of life and reflecting it back to us - humorous and discomforting at the same time.
Future Cargo is produced by The Place, supported by Without Walls and commissioned by Norfolk & Norwich Festival, SIRF, Freedom Festival Arts Trust and Out There International Festival. Co-commissioned by The Place, Festival.org, DanceEast, Southampton City Council, Pavillion Dance South West. Creation supported by 101 Creation Space & Royal Docks.
Supported by using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.. Supported by Without Walls with commissioning from Freedom Festival Arts Trust, Hat Fair, and Out There International Festival of Circus & Street Arts. With additional backing from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Foyle Foundation, The 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust, The Saintbury Trust and supported by The City of London Corporation.