Standing ovations, audience participation and some good old fashioned heckling signified the usual mixed bag of performances on Monday night at The Place.
Kataleptic, a mosh pit inspired riot of jumping, jostling and jiggling about on stage, kicked the evening off. Arguably idle or ingenious, choreographer Tom Kindell transformed the Robin Howard Dance Theatre into the coolest of urban clubs with the help of a bewitchingly incessant beat and what a large group of his friends. Whilst the work lacked distinguishable dance content its youthful energy engaged and entertained, leaving a discernable buzz in the air during the interval that followed.
Contrasting in mood, spirit and inventiveness The Ophelia Project’s She Walks in Beauty ended the evening on an altogether different note. Less the ‘celebration of womanhood and femininity’ it promised and more of a predictable drudgery of basic movements, the cast failed to engage with their audience and lacked the skill and precision required to transform the simple into the potentially beautiful.
Maxwell Dance Project’s performance of Je Suis was the jewel which lay between these two conflicting works. Near faultless, Je Suis draws on elements of movement from Europe, the Caribbean and Africa to create a refreshing, enchanting and amusing extravaganza of arm whirling, bum shaking and leg kicking, rightly met with shouts of encore.
By Jennifer Teale
Image of Kataleptic by Tom Kindell.
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