2FacedDance by Katrina Conquista.
It’s only in the past few years that I have acquired an interest in contemporary dance, a fact I put down to my boyfriend’s refined cultural tastes. So when The Place invited me to the latest instalment of 2FacedDance I jumped at the chance.
The evening comprised of three very different dance pieces by different choreographers, performed by the same troupe of dancers, who must surely have been absolutely exhausted by the end. The first piece by Tom Dale – named Subterrania utilised the whole company and was by far my favourite piece. Against a backdrop of music by dubstep pioneer Shackleton the men (for they were all men) by turns shuffled and leapt across the stage like latter day urchins – in faded dandy jackets and dress shirts. The choreography effectively combined elements of many dance styles, including break dancing and capoeira, with the dancers climbing on top of each other, dismantling into formations and recombining for a grand finale dance off. I could watch this dance over and over again.
Next up was a piece that may or may not have been sponsored by the Olympics… Freddie Opuku-Addaie‘s Politicking Oath was a humorous piece that saw the three dancers by turns goading, competing against and helping each other as they explored the psyche of professional sport. It featured the clever use of sports related moves and included the use of some strange props, including an alarm clock and a pig’s head mask.
The In the Dust of the title was the final piece, by Tamsin Fitzgerald. I hadn’t really thought about it beforehand, but yes, there was a lot of dust involved. Sitting in the front row I struggled to keep a clear throat, so god knows how the dancers managed, as they bounced up and down in great clouds of what I presume was chalk dust. The emotion of loss was writ large in the evocative moves of the dancers.
Many of the dancers with 2FacedDance have trained extensively in different forms of dance, as well as touring with pop stars on the commercial backing dancer circuit, and their expertise certainly shows. But throughout the performances it was by one dancer in particular that I remained transfixed – the tiny powerhouse that is Hugh Stanier. With ginger dreads flying, he embodied his dance moves in a way that was totally hypnotic.
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