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Quadrant [Marta Arjona Blasca & Mei Casabona, Spain, 2017]

Marta Arjona Blasca and Mei Casabona’s Quadrant is a socially conscious dance film that interrogates modern notions of gender roles and hegemonic constructions with which we automatically identify without question. It is an intelligent and imaginatively choreographed piece that works to reveal the source of our obsession with fitting in, and how that very motive in itself is self-destructive, producing greater conflicts between our fellow human.

Dancers in the dust

The opening aerial shots create a sense of alienation keeping the viewer in a disconnected space and reminding us of a masculine-feminine duality and paradoxical tensions within our primal consciousness. There is a historical element to the performance film too, set in an alabaster quarry, an environment occupied by the memory of the men who in the early 20th century – a year of political upheaval and sexual revolution – mined and extracted stone with their bare hands.

The talented young performers from dance troupe Dans PXL move with clear and defined direction, the core of the message conveyed rather elegantly in its creative choreography and expert execution. There is a very palpable tension created by the opposing dancers and they writhe, coil, and propel one another in separate moments of unification and disharmony. Quadrant injects an earthy rawness into the dance short film genre, and successfully delivers an engaging performance which gets to the heart of its narrative themes.

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