Anyone lucky enough to see the premiere of Russell Maliphant's AfterLight in 2009 will know that this solo is as near perfect as dance can get.
Lighting plays almost as much of an integral role as the dance in all of Maliphant's choreography and AfterLight is no exception. Long time collaborator and lighting designer, Michael Hulls, encapsulates dancer, Daniel Proietto, in an ever moving shaft of light and Maliphant really sticks to the golden rule of choreography with this solo - less is more. Proietto, dressed simply in a zipped up red tracksuit top, black bottoms and a beanie hat, does little more than rotate in a shaft of light which swirls down from a source directly above the stage. In the intimate setting of the Laban Theatre the fine details of Proietto's body are illuminated - his curved fingers, elongated muscles and lonely eyes gazing up at the light.
Proietto's unbroken flowing movements break out of their initial pool of light and melt into virtuosic pirouettes. Maliphant's signature arm movements, fast circles in broken beams of light which produces a hummingbird wing effect, also have their place in this solo.
The third feature, aiding the brilliance of this solo, is the music. Erik Satie's haunting piano score, Gnossiennes 1-4, (which can be heard in films from Chocolat to The Painted Veil) adds the same deeply moving feeling of loneliness and melancholy to AfterLight that is seen from Proietto’s movement.
It is easy to see why this solo earned Prioetto Dance Europe's 'Outstanding Performance of the Year' Award but it is a shame that he didn't get to perform to a full house at Laban last night. Also included in the mixed bill was dance film Critical Mass and a chance to see Maliphant himself perform in Shift, making this a gem of a programme at Laban which can be seen for the last time this evening.
By Libby Costello
Get tickets for tonight's 7.30pm performance by Russell Maliphant Dance Company at Laban Theatre, Creekside, Deptford SE8 3DZ - buy online £15/12.
Image: Daniel Proietto in AfterLight Part 1 (c) Hugo Glendinning.JPG