Review: LC3 at Rich Mix

Performance: 29 April 2010
Reviewed by Libby Costello - Wednesday 5 May 2010

LC3, London Contemporary Dance School, May 2010. 
Photo: Francois Verbeek, francois@verbeek.name.

There is no better feeling than watching a group of graduating students and coming away feeling rejuvenated. LC3, the third year performance group of London Contemporary Dance School, performed twelve original choreographies plus a restaging of Richard Alston’s technically demanding *Hymnos* in a programme that contained so many standout pieces that it’s difficult to mention them all. On the flip side the most disappointing aspect of the evening was the lack of audience at Rich Mix, with only a handful of people witnessing the work of the next generation of British choreographers.

The lovely *Queiqu’un M’a Dit* choreographed and danced by James Cousins and Aurelie Poles opened the evening with a lyrical, weight-sharing duet – using both dancers’ lofty frames to present a relationship of equality and harmony to Carla Bruni’s music. In contrast, *Moonlight Scat* _brought the first half of the evening to a close with an upbeat attitude. Choreographed and performed by Liam Riddick and Hannah Spencer, it delivered a cheeky 1940’s feel to the stage with the Ella Fitzgerald track _’It don’t mean a thing’. A Lindyhop feel came out of the wide grounded stances, hand offerings and bounce in the body, coupled with more formal contemporary movements that took the couple to the floor in roles and embraces.

Sandwiched between these two duets were short, yet perfectly formed, glimpses of LC3’s work. _*Separation* _saw choreographer/dancer Thomas McCann luxuriously wallowing in the _*Jonathan Elias Prayer Cycle Number 5: Grace* _as if the notes were supporting his every limb. _*That’s About the Size of It* _by Sam Shaw and Janina Smith added comedy to the evening, using their long and short bodies to the lyrics of Sesame Street – witty and simple.

Restaged by Kate Price, Richard Alston’s Hymnos was exquisitely danced by Laura Milson, Gareth Mole and Hannah Spencer and Esme Westcott-White. Although this was a very technically demanding work, and pushed the dancers physically more than any other piece on offer, this choreography sat nicely amongst the talent of the future.

The second half of the programme had a more serious feel in terms of content. No Tan Viejio by Nathan Johnston started with an almost lyrical hip hop vocabulary before the trio of dancers performed their personal ode to clubbing. Done in such a clever way this piece was mesmerising as the dancers sucked you into their personal worlds. *After the End* brought this excellent evening of work to an end with moody atmosphere and bare legs caught in small shafts provided by a lighting design that breathed with the music.

With many strings to this choreographers bow, James Cousins is the name that will stick in my mind from LC3. This curly haired long-limbed performer not only danced in the strongest pieces showing us his solid technique; he also coordinated the production with Gareth Mole and choreographed the highlight of the evening – After the End. So will this multitalented man be setting up the James Cousins Dance Company in the future?

London Contemporary Dance School is at The Place **”More details“:http://www.lcds.ac.uk/134/lc3/lc3.html

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