March 2015


Yorke Dance Project’s Figure Ground is a glorious evening of pure dance. To see three really good new dance works and a revival of another in one programme was a rare treat.

The evening at Swindon Dance opened with a short original piece by students, that drew on ideas and movement motifs that would be seen later on. The programme proper then began with Charlotte Edmonds’ No Strings Attached to a score by Michael Gordon. It opens to the sound of rainfall with three men (Jonathan Goddard, Benjamin Warbis and Edd Mitton) powerfully dominating the space in full pliés in second with their arms extended, seeming to fill the stage. They are joined by Laurel Dalley Smith, Amy Thake and Hannah Windows, but the dancers work more as a group than as three pairs. Edmonds’ response to the music is subtle, using the underlying pulses and not just the more obvious surface rhythms for her movement patterns. Nothing is predictable, there are hints of narrative or relationships – here, the notion of the group and those outside the group; there, the suggestion of a couple – and she creates balance on stage without resorting to the purely symmetrical in this very satisfying work. (more…)

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I squeezed into the last available seat at the North Wall for this sell out show.  No frills indeed, just some branches lashed together suspended to act as a hanging space for long black coats and a salmon coloured skirt, and rough boxes for sitting on. Two musicians emerged discreetly from the gloom to set up a subtle pulse with guitar and percussion, later joined by singer Anna Colom Tadeo; three enigmatic young women in long jersey frocks donned the sombre coats and came forward with signature movement phrases before joining together as a stately chorus, moving as one with softly menacing clapping; setting the shape for an evening in which blazing individuality emerged from and returned to a tightly-knit ensemble. (more…)

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