Damien Jalet’s Skid is performed on a vertiginously angled platform; Sharon Eyal’s SAABA is danced almost entirely on demi-pointe, dancers balancing on the balls of their feet with heels rarely touching the floor.
Feats of endurance? You bet. Anything else more interesting? Not really.
Look past the admittedly super-stylish surface of GöteborgsOperans Danskompani’s double bill and one comes up empty. Skid and SAABA offer an invitation to watch and admire rather than feel. Cool is the word, in both senses.
Skid is the showier, more accessible work as it demonstrates in various ways a principle known by all of humankind. What goes up must come down. Seventeen dancers put up a good fight against gravity but the laws of the universe say they’ll never win.
A blindingly white platform is at a 34 degree angle, “inspired by the measurement of earth’s gravitational acceleration measurement of 9.8 meters per second”, says Jalet. Suffice to say it’s enough to send the dancers hurtling into a void below.
For the first half of the 45-minute piece the emphasis is on the downward trajectory as dancers, dressed something like skiers, slide,...