Pros: A brilliant and dizzying display of dance that captivates and leaves an imprint, with a splendid illuminated set and percussive elements.
Cons: For those uninitiated in dance it may be difficult to engage with, since there is not much in the way of a sustained story.
I don’t remember the last time I went to a dance show. It may have been 25 years ago when my 10-year-old sister did a show in the local town hall. Even with that experience behind me, I am not a dance connoisseur by any means. For me this show was very different from what I was used to and provided a whole new set of expectations. Which is always a good thing surely, who doesn’t want to throw themselves off the side of a boat in the middle of the ocean to see if they will survive?
Did I survive? Yes, I definitely did, and with gusto. But there were a few moments when I went under and forgot which direction was back up towards the surface.
The stage set consisted entirely of lights and silhouettes and was expertly done. It set just the right tone for the dancers to embellish their movements and set the brooding and rather ominous character of the pieces. I couldn’t quite determine whether the show was one sustained story or separate pieces. My final thought was that it was probably a bit of both.
There was no indecision within me as to the dancers themselves. They were superb, their performances well-honed and exuding emotion throughout, truly giving the impression of enjoyment and bliss in their craft and storytelling. There were some stunning images that will stay with me: the man slowly shaking into a fit at the beginning; the seemingly contorted bodies creeping backwards across the stage; a dancer appearing out from underneath another dancer’s hair.
The use of percussion and voice must also be mentioned. For parts of the show two drummers sat on either side of the space, interacting with the performance and providing some brilliant melodious rhythms. There was also a singer who contributed some haunting acapella vocals, whilst the dancers provided rhythms with their bare feet alone. All of these things went into creating a tremendous atmosphere.
Overall, this was a wonderful and evocative show, albeit one that lost me at points, since it lacked the obvious narrative that I am used to. I would absolutely recommend going to see something like this that tests you as a spectator and opens up a whole new theatrical experience.
Concept and choreography: Aditi Mangaldas
Dramaturgy: Farooq Chaudhry
Booking until: This show has now ended its run