Review: Cloud Dance Festival: Dream On at Chisenhale Dance Space

Performance: 27 September 2008
Reviewed by Debbie Shine - Friday 10 October 2008

Udifydance presented PLeX, duet choreographed & performed by Chay Burrows and Christopher Reynolds. The sheer physicality of these two men dancing in perfect sync with each other, reacting to each other and playing with dynamics and suspension, created a captivating piece of choreography. Choreographed & performed by Laura Newman and Kayley Hughes, KoLective’s offering Retort was danced on a bare stage in silence, the music being created by their own breath and the sounds of the movement. Moving together and reacting to each other, the dancers explored the space and their own performance, drawing the audience in to the simplistic world they created.

Sezdrenah Dance Theatre presented *Soul*, a stunning duet, choreographed by Sera Adetoun Akinbiyi who proved herself to be someone to watch out for both creatively and as a performer. Delving into the deep subjective field of soul mates, the duet was touching and at times fierce. The performance was marred only by the technical hitch of a badly scratched CD, but the dancers carried on and lent so much focus and breath to the movement that the music was irrelevant, and as the lights came down on the last lift the audience’s collective breath was held.

Following the first interval, choreographed by Tom Roden with material made by the dancers, T*aciturn’s If it can be broken, it can be fixed*was a series of separate dances, each one with a title, and with two things in common, a pause and a spoken introduction. The poem that was read out with a gorgeous Liverpool accent and the phrases that joined each piece to the next were delivered clearly and often with very touching moments hidden within humour, while the quirky style of the choreography allowed the personalities of the performers to shine through. Leah’s Eyes Were Soft, choreographed by Hagit Yakira and performed to a predominantly vocal score, was created in collaboration with sound artist Portia Winters. Exploring femininity and in particular the figure of Leah from the Bible, the piece was occasionally humorous but throughout gave the audience a visceral reaction to the choreography. Expressive and yet intimate, the dancers and musician reached intuitively into the soul of the audience and brought us with them on their journey.

MOxie BrAwL’s Didn’t You Know, choreographed by Sarah Blanc, opened the final section with newspapers strewn over the stage, through which the dancers moved creating a tactile environment that danced with them. Using their voices with the sounds of the paper and the music, the dancers kept the audience of a knife edge of tension and anxiety with short reprieves of stillness and calmness to sharpen the edges.

Ijad Dance Company headlined the line-up, presenting_ 2B3D_ which was choreographed by Joumana Mourad. The piece was performed by three dancers, who executed the choreography with precision, accuracy and character, while crushing and smearing apples over the stage and themselves. At times humorous and light, at others dark and disturbing, this piece was not for the faint-hearted and as it closed the show the audience left feeling that they’d witnessed something extraordinary.

What’s On