So I'm into my second month of being back in London and as I sit in the window of this London coffee listening to a sweet reggae beat and work in the window I think about the shows that I have been to see since I got back, Richard Alston Dance Company, Ffin Dance Company, Scottish Dance Theater, Tavaziva Dance, Rosie Kay and A Chorus Line.
Watching A Chorus Line brought back memories of singing in the corridors, tap dancing in full faced make-up and taking ballet in a leotard and tights. Musical theater performers have to tick so many boxes and in watching them you just see their passion coursing through their veins. It was humorous, entertaining and refreshing... and I loved the high kicks.
There are a few contemporary companies I missed that I wish I got to see but, what's nice is that all of the work that I have seen has been totally different, I'm not watching anything and thinking that companies are just producing the same stuff across the spectrum.
Alston holds the tradition with technical work, male and female 'roles' and strong technique and amazing musicality. Ffin shows that even smaller companies that don't have that much funding and that do not work continuously all year can still produce a strong triple bill. Scottish Dance Theater showed a great theatrical side with very strong and technical dancers, there was use of vocabulary and a lot of humor.
Tavaziva Dance (I have a soft spot of this company) showed the power that the dancers have, the stamina, strength and technique, it was a piece of pure movement. And finally Rosie Kay, lots of theater and vocal, a strong idea produced through physical theater. Each choreographer has their own unique style and all of the dancers did a fantastic job.
Dance is there to be watched and criticised, liked and disliked, we can't all like everything or all dance would be the same (hmm...what a sad thought) and I'm not writing this post to 'review' any of the companies I saw, but it does upset me when I read things and I see that Richard Alston CBE has been referred to as 'Dumbledore'. I understand that you may not like the work he produces, and you have every right to voice that opinion but he is such an important figure in contemporary dance, and his name should be respected.
I can't say that I loved every piece that I saw and I couldn't understand some of the decisions that were made but what was nice is that 3 of these companies had a post-performance talk.
I think it can give people a great insight to the company and it gives you - whether you be a student, a friend, a supporter or a casual spectator - the opportunity to ask questions, yes sometimes these questions are irrelevant and sometimes... so are the answers, however the opportunity is there so thank you.
Get out there and watch some dance people!!