We have have our inner voices pushing us forward or holding us back. In Caledonia Dances & Kathy Richardson’s film of their stage show Weight/Wait, three people all named Alex have to deal with not just the voice, but the physical weight that pushes them, holds them, or mirrors their movement.
Created by Caldonia Walton and Kathy Richardson (both perform in the piece alongside Sanea Singh and Chris Radford), this is a refreshing take on young people’s mental health. Alongside dance and movement, text and poetry are included as the piece progresses through a 45 minute running time.
It is about what you allow yourself to do, or be, and how to recognise that your inner voice may sometimes be a false friend. With indoor and outdoor locations, the treatment as a film takes out out of a performative space under traditional stage lighting. It feels focused and targeted.
The movement and soundscape is key to building a sense of mental disturbance. These are moments in good days and bad days which are depicted through dance, with more upbeat music and less staccato, more fluid moves.
ALEX Weight/Wait is a raw exploration of mental instability, conveyed through the beauty of movement. Walton is the inner voice and malignant force, juddering, catching, dismissing Alex’s attempts to push herself with a dismissive “nahh”.
Richardson is the first Alex we see, her body taut with irritation, nerves and anxiety. The use of other Alex figures gives an extra edge to proceedings; the utilisation of Radford underlines that young men struggle too.
This production captures the empty and terrifying feeling of a mind sliding out of control. It also highlights the issues of “I am” and “I can” and the battle to throw off negative thoughts.
That it does this through images which are as beautiful as they are disturbing is a tribute to Walton and Richardson’s skill as creators and performers.
Shot by Barney White and edited by White and Walton, this succeeds as a strong digital piece for young people. Aaron Blackledge’s lighting, Ping Lee’s sound, Alex Paton’s music, and Ryan Dre Sinclair’s poems all add to a strong and emotional creation.
You can purchase access to ALEX: Weight/Wait until the end of March. Book your tickets here. Along with access to the film you get access to sources which can help you cope with life and what it can throw at you.