Booking Dance Split Bill @ Venue 150, EICC
Slick, high energy entertainment; thoughtful exploration of our human weaknesses, or a biography presented through movement. All these destinations on the map of dance were available on the Booking Dance whistle-stop tour of US companies in the Split Bill event.
First up was Rhythmic Circus who are as much a music act as a dance show. The show has a funky seven piece band that perform their own compositions, the dance is tap; with routines based on a marching bad, a duet with saxophone, chairs for drum kits or simply chasing away the blues. Enough energy to power the lights of Minneapolis, and enough to get a mid afternoon audience to their feet for a standing encore.
DAMAGEDANCE was a contrast. Not in energy, but in attitude, with Glimpses, an intense and thoughtful exploration of different kinds of emotional frailties and disorders. Good to see a range of body shapes, and choreography that adapted accordingly, ranging from a sculptural approach (reminiscent of Picasso's monumental dancers from his 'classical' period) through emotion-filled duets and routines filled with vigour and strength. Six pieces were performed, consisting of solos, duets and group dances that pushed both the athleticism and the expressive abilities of the dancers. The pieces managed to show the dancers' individuality, and charisma; especially in the gripping solo from Suzzanne Thomas. Terrific stuff from this young company. If the chance comes to see more from them, take it.
The final section from Labyrinth Dance Theater was a one hander, performed by Felicia Norton, who presents the true life story of Noor: from young girl brought up in Paris, through training by the British SOE, to her exploits in occupied France, and her final betrayal and execution in Dachau. The story was clearly delineated through the use of a soundscape accompaniment. Although, I felt it was delineated a bit too clearly, and tended to dominate the dance.
Booking Dance Festival, Split Bill, EICC, 20 - 21 August, 4pmhttp://www.venue150.com/