A dark studio space with a circle of light in the foreground cast by a cluster of four round, white, overhead lights.
Isabelle marches across the illuminated space, from right to left. She's barefoot, wearing flowing grey pants and a matching sleeveless top that's ruched along the back with black strips of fabric following the lines of her spine. Her long fair hair is pulled back in a knotted plait at the nape of her neck.
At the left-hand edge of the pool of light she makes a sharp right turn and marches to back of the space, then turns back and steps towards the centre of the space, under the lights. There she waits, feet planted wide apart, hands dangling at her sides.
She turns her head abruptly back and forth, takes a few steps forward and repeats the action.
Walking forward again, she crouches in a fighting stance, then turns to look behind her again.
Stepping forward, she grabs the air in front of her with both fists, flings it across her body, then writhes around with sinuous motion.
Tiptoeing backwards, she rolls her torso around in circles then extends her arms, alternating between sweeping, fluid movements and rigid, robotic ones.
She appears to follow her own extended fists to the back of the space, where she twirls and heaves her body up and down, then weaves her joined hands down through the air.
Jumping her legs wide apart, she rocks her torso from side to side, then twirls gracefully on one foot.
She drags her body across the space as though holding it from above by a rope dangling from her own fist.
Shaking her head free, she reaches in front of her and appears to drag something invisible open and closed like a sliding door.
Nodding deeply, she lets the movement travel down her muscular body, then spreads her arms wide, clenching and unclenching her hands as though moulding the air and drawing it in towards her knees, where she flings it away.
She pumps her torso up and down and pulls her fists towards her chest and away again.
Diving forward, she again alternates between rigid, robotic movements and graceful, sweeping motions.
She punches her left arm out to her left, then crouches low to send herself into a lyrical set of spins, her body undulating as she turns.
She steps away, scissoring her legs and raising her arms over her head, then spinning back and rocking from side to side.
She pushes her torso around and around in dipping circles, then leaps into a crouching pose, which she holds, staring at the floor.
When she straightens up again, she marches a few steps forward into the centre, where she rolls her torso in agonised circles and extends her arms as if for balance.
Standing in the centre, she traces a broad circle around her with her arms, then bends low, cradling something invisible while pulsing her body up and down.
She rolls her head on her shoulders, then steps and twirls away towards the back.
She turns again to walk almost casually back into the centre.
In the centre she undulates her body like an unfurling shoot, then crouches low in a strong stance, hands on hips, and there she remains for a long moment, staring at the floor to her right.
Slowly straightening up again, she turns and stalks towards the back, where she circles back around, then dips her head and shoulders towards the ground, her torso following.
She jolts her body disjointedly, then undulates it like a snake.
A series of quick, stuttering movements, then she fluidly pirouettes on one foot and collapses her body to one side, letting it droop before straightening up again and twisting her shoulders from side to side.
She arcs her body forward repeatedly, like a wave crashing, then steps out through it and reaches her right fist up to the sky.
Backing up, she repeats the action, then draws her hand back down, letting it mirror the undulating course of her body.
She shimmies her shoulders and twirls around, dragging her fist through the air as though pulling something along.
With jerky movements she beats her chest and flaps her arms up and then down, freezing in a bowing position with her palms extended in front of her and facing down towards the floor.
She slowly straightens up from her bow and backs up to the rear of the pool of light, where she stands, legs apart, and crouches back into the same kind of bow.
But this time she gets straight back up and advances, parading and then undulating forward, her outstretched arms making angular shapes in the air.
Crossing her fists in front of her, she bows low, then straightens up and bows again.
She repeats the action, then uncrosses her fists and slides one hand down her other arm while rolling her torso.
She pulses across the space like a rolling wave, then stops under the lights and sways from side to side, twining her arms all around.
With her hands joined in front of her, she surges her body back and forth, then jumps to one side and drags her outstretched arms back towards her.
She weaves her arms around her, then droops forward, letting them dangle. She stays like that for a while, drooping in the half-light at the edge of the illuminated space.
When she straightens up it's in a slow, fluid way that suddenly becomes staggered and jerky like animatronic motion.
In a kind of slow motion she lifts her left leg and bends it behind her, then returns it to the floor and spasms her body before undulating from top to bottom in deep waves.
Waves of motion appear to travel up her limbs and through her body, pouring out of her as she bends low to the ground.
Her movements become jerky again and she strikes a series of fighting poses, punching out one fist then holding both defensively in front of her face.
She punches the same fist out again, then sweeps it away with her other arm.
She backs up into a graceful spin, then alternates jerky, stop-motion-style movements with fluid, pulsating ones.
Standing in the centre, she appears to grow taller, extending herself upwards, then she bends forward again and undulates her body.
She rocks her dangling arms in front of her, then arcs them over her head.
Pivoting on one leg, she raises the other behind her and stretches her arm out with it, then with both feet on the ground she weaves her body around on the spot, repeatedly turning her head to look over her shoulder.
Leaning forward, she pushes her fists down, rolling them as though knotting something, then moving her bent body in spasms.
She droops forward, freezing for a moment before letting a sinuous movement travel up through her legs, along her rippling torso and out through her extended arm, which she then draws in to her chest.
She taps her chest and then contorts as though in pain, drooping forward again into another frozen bow.
Slowly she wriggles upright and writhes her whole body from bottom to top as she shuffles backwards from the centre of the space.
She freezes with one arm dangling, then rolls her head towards the other arm and slumps forward.
Straightening up, she drags herself towards the centre by her own upheld fist, then squats low with her right palm hovering just above the floor.
Turning her face up to the lights, she straightens up and wriggles her body, manoeuvring her bent arms in angular shapes with her hands balled into fists.
More slowly now, she stretches sideways and backs up a little, then twists her torso and squats back towards the floor with her palm again hovering just above it. This time she holds the pose for a long moment.
She undulates her body upright and twirls away towards the back of the lighted area. There she bows her head and walks casually around the perimeter of light.
About a quarter of the way around she stops and waves her body from side to side like a streamer in a breeze.
She reaches out her right hand to grab the air and drag it back and forth, stepping lightly from foot to foot as she does so.
She rolls her torso in broad circles and dips it deeply, waving and twining her arms around herself as she moves.
She twirls lithely across the space, dipping and rolling her entire body.
Her pointed toes and curved arms become increasingly classical, then her undulating movements return as she dips and winds around the space.
Weaving back and forth, she sweeps her extended arms through the air like she's gathering it in, and sometimes she pulls herself into a spin.
Sprawling low to the ground, she stretches out her body then pushes off with her hands and rolls back to standing.
Her soft pants billow as she rocks from foot to foot, then she glides backwards, sweeping the air around her with outstretched arms.
Her jerky, animatronic movements briefly return, then she curves one arm above her like a crashing wave and melts her body down towards the floor.
She pushes upright again, dips forward with one leg raised behind her, then weaves her torso back and forth, twining her arms all about her.
She lets a wave travel up her right arm and along the length of her body, then moves each of her limbs and her torso in a series of undulating curves.
Walking towards the back of the space, she glances over her shoulder, then circles back and strolls casually away. Above the studio, the cluster of white lights blurs in close-up, then fades into nothing.
Grapple is the exploration of an individual’s search for meaning. It begins in a state of fight, in which the individual is forced to perform programmed ideas and learnt behaviours with disregard to the consequences. Eventually this unsustainable structure falls apart, facing them with more personal notions of connection, freedom, and fulfilment.
Isabelle Beauverd, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance), 2016
Anna Durham – sound composer
Helene Marie Frøisland – costume designer