Shanghai Qiutian x SLATE (2021.11.28)

Shanghai Qiutian x SLATE, Senza Quartet 山泽四重奏 – Fortune Theater 上海加零剧场 2021.11.28

All photos courtesy of SHOT IN THE DARK (@Hikari)

Shanghai Qiutian – whose invigorating, sweeping, and playfully affecting math rock arrangements have enraptured fans for years, have had a hell of a year thus far, one that kicked off with the release of their double LP release Home: Revolution. The band, known for their open-hearted melodies and unmatched live performances, stepped it up this past weekend as they invited multi-national contemporary dance troupe SLATE and string quartet Senza Quartet to reinterpret their debut release with a special theater show at Fortune Theater (next to a giant UFC stadium and one giant Gundam-esque statue).

I wasn’t sure what to expect, to be honest, but I was game. And as soon as those curtains opened I knew I was in for a treat – invoking both the set-morphing fun of Stop Making Sense, the simplistic aesthetic pleasures of the music video medium, and the interpretative contemporary dance stylings of SLATE the show was both a feast for the eyes and the ears. 

The first half entitled ‘Home’ had the band decked out in white plumber outfits (Enaut and Florian could easily play the Mario Brothers on Halloween) and propped up on wood blocks of varying heights, while the dance trope interacted with one another and giant-sized cyanine capsules. There was a loose informal grace to the movements on stage that matched the jangly musical stylings fittingly. ,时长01:02The first act closed out with the Senza Quintet bringing classical elegance to ‘1200’ before the band gave a stripped-down performance of ‘Long Wat From Home’, leaving only Enaut immersed in light as the curtains closed. 

The surprises didn’t end there as walking into the theatre after intermission for the second half – entitled ‘Revolution’ – audiences were shocked to see the theater seats gone and the floor open to the audience, save for the SLATE dancers performing about the room with giant red balloons teetered to their torsos. In fact, the entire room was now bathed in crimson red, with the band now situated in various corners of the stage in their new prison jumpsuits. 

Playing out like a more traditional concert of sorts (or more akin to the band’s ‘Nostage’ shows), with the visual stimuli coming in from various points – from dancers in the grid (I might be mixing up my stage terminology here) on opposite ends of the room, to the push and pull dance set to the bands ‘Always A Place’. 

Ambitious for sure but Shanghai Qiutian and SLATE pulled it off – an audio-visual musical experience that was unlike anything I’d seen this year.

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