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Goal

7 minutes

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Bent out of shape by the surreal corporate dance towards success

Two young men in chic business attire are alone in an upscale, generic corporate office. Sharing a vision of a trophy hovering above an ocean, they begin to gyrate like malfunctioning robots, stare zombie-like into the distance, and intermittently flicker with a spectrum of intense feelings. When the prize haunting their daydreams begins sinking into the water, the rat race is on – they fall to all fours and embark on a frantic quest to recover the object before it’s swallowed by the sea.

A production from Jacob Jonas The Company’s digital platform films.dance, Goal is a delightfully droll satire. With a clever premise at its core, the short is elevated by all-in performances from the Dutch dancers Simon Bus and Roy Overdijk, committed in roles that demand moments of exaggeration as well as subtlety. The two convulse through their morning coffee routine, circulate through expressions of deviousness, disappointment and feverish desire, and contort their bodies to shuffle out to sea. A score of ambient tones and synthesised voices from the Los Angeles-based filmmaker Bear Damen, who also directs, lends the production a further surreal layer.

More than just another takedown of corporate greed or the doldrums of modern office life, Damen and the French artist Mathilde Gilhet, who developed the choreography with the dancers, together craft something much more expressive and abstract. As the men shed their civilised veneer, the piece seems to grapple with how the mannerly world of work both camouflages and unleashes some of our more primitive instincts. The exceptionally entertaining result is a spirited reflection on ambition, competition and goal-oriented culture – with an ambiguous ending that may just serve as a Rorschach test for your view of humanity.

Written by Adam D’Arpino

Director: Bear Damen

Choreographer: Mathilde Gilhet

Producers: Luc de Kock, Jill Wilson, Emma Rosenzweig-Bock

Website: Jacob Jonas The Company