The Night Bus Choir and Sarah Vanhee

Bristol

The Night Bus Choir performed on Sunday without the supplementation of gymnasts , leaving the mats and beam appear quite lonesome in paucity. More emphasis was thus placed on the choir, who sang powerfully and with spirit whilst the walls became lit with projected images of attendees at their gym in Nottingham. Most impressive was their ability to fluctuate in tempo with such finesse, and though it wasn’t a crowning highlight of my 4 Days experience, one has to admire the skill and thought put into the lyrics and execution, the subject of which was, aptly, movement.

To say the performance by Belgian artist Sarah Vanhee, the final in a series of four connected shows entitled ‘Works in Progress’, was focused less on harmony and more on quick-fire verbose would be to put it mildly. Just three brief pauses initiated by a small alarm interrupted Vanhee’s act, the ingenuity of which lies in it’s exportable method. With no apparent preparation, she begins talking as quickly as possible without stopping for up to 30 minutes at a time, saying everything – no matter how menial or nonsensical – that pops into her head. It’s almost as if she’d created a mental bomb that would detonate at the hints of hesitation, or indeed the moment an unintelligible word is spoken from her lips. It’s not surprising that Vanhee has no later recollection of what exactly she said, as to even recall just one short phrase would be like an auctioneer remembering precisely a random bid on a random item. A verbal whirlwind ensues, comprised of childhood memories, literature, relationships, Aaron Swartz, the audience and a possible obsession with religion; ask anyone else who was there and no doubt they’d pick out six different musings. In the end, we learn nothing truly about the content of her character, except that she has a sheer, quite un-selfconscious fortitude to place her thoughts on a platter, on a conveyor belt, in the spinning winds of a violent tornado.

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