Pros: A strange and lovable movement-based duet with admirable acrobatics.
Cons: Poor lighting, as well as an unclear plotline towards the beginning of the performance.
Levantes Dance Theatre presents The Band at The Albany in Deptford for only two nights this April as part of their UK tour. Levantes was co-founded by Eleni Edipidi and Bethanie Harrison, and in a departure from their usual duets, this show features Edipidi with Nathan Johnston.
This was my first visit to The Albany, and I was very impressed with the reception we received from their staff and what they had done for their guests, considering the café and theatre bar were closed at this particular time. Easy to find, just off Deptford High Street, this pretty and characterful theatre was a wonderful venue for The Band.
The Band is a strange duet, full of movement, physical theatre, dance and acrobatics. The story tells of a struggling performing duo, washed up by the wave of change from the seventies and hoping to get back into the limelight. The most lovable aspect of their hour-long performance was seeing the variation in their relationship. The moments they spent moving together in the space, using counter-balance aerial hoop techniques, and their comedic arrangements were the really special moments throughout this performance. Their relationship blossomed and fell which made the connection between these two dancers truly special.
Despite the glittering disco ball and glamorous outfits, displayed alongside the odd instrument and aspects of a showbiz dressing room, the idea behind their struggle for fame was sometimes lost. It was clear to see that they were a performing couple, but unless I’d read the leaflet provided by the venue I wouldn’t have understood some of the things portrayed in the performance that related to their lifestyle as artists. The performances of both Eleni and
Nathan were comedic and lovable. The balance between each one’s physical and characteristic strengths was clear and admirable. Set and sound were the perfect partner to their movement and performance. The set, as mentioned earlier, highlighted their showbiz lifestyle, and the sound added to their story with great intent and worked very well throughout the entire performance. The technical aspect that truly was a shame was lighting. When the lighting was positioned well it was very beautiful and showed exactly what it needed to, but the poor arrangement meant that the audience missed some of the action and the finer details of the performance that may (or may not) have been vital to their story. With a production like this, I would venture to say the lighting could have been a lot simpler, as the performance was enough to fill the space with beauty.
This production was sweet and enjoyable. The short stage time was all the performance needed to capture a wonderful relationship. The stunning movement and aerial acrobatics were the absolute highlight of the evening, and I would have liked to see a lot more of their aerial duet.
Artistic Direction: Eleni Edipidi
Devising and Performing: Eleni Edipidi and Nathan Johnston
Production: Jenny Sullivan
Box Office: 020 8692 4446
Booking Link: http://www.thealbany.org.uk/event_detail/1967/Events/The-Band
Booking Until: 26 April 2017