Sunday, 21 May 2017

REVIEW: Bruce's Ghost Dances returns after 14 years to Rambert triple bill

Sat 20 May
Sadler's Wells
Aletta Collins - The days run away like wild horses
Didy Veldman - The 3 Dancers
Christopher Bruce - Ghost Dances

Rambert's triple bill promises the triumphant return of Ghost Dances, one of the company's most requested works, and triumphant it is. 

The evening features the premiere of Aletta Collins's The days run away like wild horses, which takes inspiration from 80's Oscar-winning director Zbigniew Rybczynski's animated film Tango. Interlacing repeating mundane snapshots of life, Collin's protagonist sitting in her house becomes crowded by her memories- a boy retrieving a lost football, a woman smacking her head mid-romp, a bored school girl doing homework. Designer Katrina Lindsay's colourful staging and vibrant costuming is reminiscent of some of Matthew Bourne's bright productions.

Ghost Dances is showing in Salford, Southampton, Norwich, Bath and Bradford in the upcoming months. See more here.

Didy Veldman's The 3 Dancers draws upon Picasso's painting The Three Dancers. Veldman ties cubism, love and pain into dance, with it's geometric set design and sharp, clean lines. The dancers knot their hands and arms, creating images of lusty and intertwined relations.

Finally, Bruce's moving Ghost Dances doesn't disappoint. It's known that Bruce handles socio-political issues with sharp precision. So, the revival of Bruce's protest to Pinochet's brutal regime in Chile and the systematic persecution of around 35000 civilians still feels relevant today. 

From the outset, the trio of masked ghouls, who stalk and glide, landing silently out of their muscular jumps, contrasts eerily to the folksy playfulness of the dead. Every tender duet, spirited antics of ordinary people and moments of yearning are interrupted by the slinking ghouls. Nicholas Mojsiejenko's haunting arrangement of traditional Andean folk music drifts off, replaced by the desolate sound of wind, as the ghouls lift their victims from the ground.

Having established himself as a politically vocal choreographer in the early 70s, Bruce's works are excellent examples of how art- and specifically dance- can and should, challenge politics. 

Maya Pindar

REVIEW: Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform

Fri 19 Mar
Wilditch Community Centre, Battersea
Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform
Jayne Port - Pibroch Tales
Helen Cox - double pendulum
Lucid Dance - Living With Sin
Feet off the Ground Dance - The Way They Were Then

Independent choreographers Lucia Schweigert and Konstantina Skalionta present the fourth Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform, featuring work from five emerging female artists in an evening of live dance, installation and post-show Q&A. Schweigert and Konstantina's interest in producing dance in unconventional spaces brings us to Wilditch Community Centre in Battersea. Alongside live dance performances, Elisabeth Schilling presents her exhibition STADKÖRPER; a collaborative project between a dancer and various photographers set in Berlin's architectural cityscape.

Opening the live dance, Jayne Port's Pibroch Tales sees the kilt-clad Gordon Douglas Raeburn mime his way through a series of extracts from the Kilberry book of Ceol Mor. As both presenter and performer, Douglas Raeburn acts out mundane scenes of fishing, a domestic disagreement, and an unlikely encounter between two men and a bear.

Helen Cox's double pendulum

Following the squeal of bagpipes, we are met by the sweeping arms and soft pulsing of Helen Cox's double pendulum. With vaguely Cunningham-esque clean lines and shifts of weight, double pendulum is a carefully constructed exploration of relationships. Dancers Helen Cox and Andrew Oliver orbit one another, threading their limbs through the space. The gentle swing and rebound twists the duo like two corkscrews, which then unravel, sending the pair back into orbit. A deeply satisfying work to watch, which could stand alone without explanation or notes.

Lucia Schweigert's dance film Living With Sin is brought to the stage. Challenging the affect Eve's original sin has on the experience of womanhood, dancer Kathy Richardson progresses through three stages of experience, identified by white, red and black costume. Opening in silence, Living With Sin is pensive with an intense feeling of internal struggle. Shedding her red and black costume, Richardson metaphorically sheds her sins, ending in her white slip dress returning to purity.

Lucia Schweigert's Living With Sin

Finally, the night ends with Feet off the Ground Dance's The Way They Were Then. As always, the collective hit the jackpot. Inspired by Mujeres, a collection of short stories, by left-wing Uraguayan writer Eduardo Geleano, illuminating both renowned and unknown women from around the world. The women rotate in centrifugal spins, as the live accompaniment intensifies, throwing them into their trademark fearless, full bodied and gravity defying contact improvisation. Absolutely every decision is executed with purpose and intention.

Feet off the Ground Dance's The Way They Were Then

Kaleidoscopic Arts Platform showcases exciting emerging female dance work. Regardless of whether you have an interest in contemporary dance or not, there is something to be found for everyone- especially if you're seeking art with a political agenda. Schweigert and Konstantina's decision to set these platforms in unconventional locations is just the twist that sets evenings such as these apart.

To find out more about Kaleidoscopic Arts Platforms, please head over to the website now!

Maya Pindar