Friday, 8 February 2008

Erica Russell "Triangle" (Four Women, Four Decades - 1990s)

The third woman to be featured in this short trawl of the decades and representing the 1990s - though she could as well represent the present day! - is New Zealand born, South African raised and UK based Erica Russell. Triangle is a dance in which young man and woman entwine in a succession of lithe movements. The association is with the triangle shape, in a human context involving the introduction of a second woman into the mix. This triggers a dynamic of jealousy and rage, though it seems reconciled at the end. Nominated for an Oscar in 1995 it is a wonderfully envigorating fusion of dance, music and animation, unlike any other animation covered in the Animation Blog. To an extent writing about the movie is outside my knowledge base. The perspective should be that of a dancer to appreciate the elastic movements of the dancers, the give and take of their relationship, the sexually charged chemistry as two young lovers embrace before the arrival of another woman to the triangle of love. A painter too would appreciate the lush use of colour. There is passion here that unifies the arts. It could as well be displayed at an art gallery on an electronic canvas with a sound system as shown at an animation festival – both are actually true I guess. Like much great animation work in the UK in the last decade or so it originated from a commission by Channel 4. I cannot conceive of another artist whose work so artistically encompasses shape and colour choreographed around a theme. The Charlie Hart music, so integral to the mix, is a wonderful blend of African and Brazilian rhythms. Download a sample from Charlie’s site. Erica has her own company and there is much to enjoy (and write about) on her fresh and contemporary website.

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