Walking fingers, gripping hands, boxing fists, compression and catching arms – in Hold your horses by the Utrecht collective De Dansers, not the legs, but the hands, fingers and arms take center stage. And this from the start: seated behind two tables, five performers let their hands fall flat on the table tops, scribble over the landscape of the heads and limbs of the others, let their fingers doubt the abyss of the table edge. Composer/singer/guitarist and co-performer Guy Corneille uses them to let his guitar speak.
They are expressive things, our upper limbs, extremely suitable for contact and communication. Then in the physical world. In the elusive digital world, they’re good for tapping a keyboard, that’s all. While the need for something to hold on to is all the greater.
That is more or less the idea behind this ode (or is it a cry for help?) by choreographer Josephine van Rheenen to our versatile, longing arms. Hold your horses can also be viewed as a wonderful playtime (of an hour) in which Yeli Beurskens, Liam McCall, Youri Peters, Arturo Vargas, Marie Khatib-Shahidi and Corneille dance, sing and make music in an irresistible, casual atmosphere. Corneille’s songs, unfortunately not well intelligible, amplify them even more.
Tables become towers, whose casually dressed dancers let themselves fall confidently into caring arms. They cling together, throw themselves violently through space, knocking the other over in their speed. Familiar elements, but when the tempo is increased and the rhythm is tighter Hold your horses hard to resist, for adults just as much as for children.
And those horses? The title may be due to the noble four-legged friend, but he does not appear in the whole piece. Or it should be the circles that the performers sometimes and groupe trot across the floor like circus horses. One moment in four ‘legs’.