Review: Hofesh Shechter in Uprising/In Your Rooms at Sadler's Wells

Performance: 28 September 2007
Reviewed by Libby Costello - Saturday 29 September 2007

The brilliance of Shechter’s choreography relied upon the key to every solid piece, simplicity. The dancers had something to say and said it, through movement that could speak volumes. The performance showed us a choreographer that understands the subtleties of human movement, drawing upon the everyday and pedestrian but not in a postmodern watch checking way. The drop of a shoulder summoned up the image of a city worker edging his way through a crowd, or the polyphonic rhythms seen throughout the dancers bodies drawing upon street dance styles without utilising tired clichéd movements.

The two works on display at Sadler’s Wells, Uprising and In your Rooms, on the 28 September showed not only choreographic talent but also some excellent dancers. The all male Uprising showed a truly male work with the movement made for boys only. The use of primitive monkey-like travelling steps with a low centre of gravity stylised this work, movement especially well executed by Christopher Evans and Phil Hulford. The dynamic use of music and lighting accosted the viewer from the fist beat, a truly visual bombardment for the audience.

The organic movement of Uprising with it’s tribal element needs to be seen a large stage in order of the visual wonder to work its spell. This is the type of work that would educate and inspire the dancers of tomorrow.

The second piece, In your Rooms was an impressive display of moment whether you focused upon the dancers or the musicians, who were elevated upon a platform at the back of the stage. The battle for attention was set up between the musicians and dancers from the off. Shechter’s original idea of lack of communication came across well but the most interesting choreographic moments came from the use of changing formations. The sequences flowed between directions, groups and facings with the movement being initiated by different dancers at all times, reminiscent of the ballets by John Cranko. This choreographic idea was cleverly brought together by a single male dancer standing with a placard, the fist side stating ‘Don’t follow Leaders’, a statement which in present times has huge political connotations, but once flipped stated ‘Follow me’.

This choreographer has definitely grabbed attention with these two works, a must see name for the future.

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