Three of the four pieces shown by Phoenix Dance Theatre at the Linbury last week were new (or nearly new) works by Christopher Bruce, Ivgi & Greben and Darshan Singh Bhuller. This year has seen our dance companies commemorate the Great War and Bruce’s Shift (2006) seemed subtly to echo this theme. It opens with three women walking purposefully onto the stage, their hair tied up in headscarf turbans that immediately conjured up images of factory war work. Sometimes they and their male counterparts seemed to operate machines, at others, it was as if they themselves were the machines as they repeated movement sequences in canon. John B Read’s lighting design projected a shadow pattern of small rectangular panes onto the floor of the stage, as though light entered through a high window, adding a further geometrical dimension to the choreography. (more…)

Wendy Whelan’s programme Restless Creature, on view at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre last week, was a remarkable feat, consisting of four duets all danced by Whelan herself partnered in each work by its own choreographer.

In Ego et Tu we saw Alejandro Cerrudo, centre stage, lit by a pool of light as he spiralled and criss-crossed an invisible but almost palpable central line. Then he moved upstage and was miraculously replaced by Whelan emerging from the darkness, before they danced together using intricate lifts in which he held her away from his body, and barely seemed to touch her. (more…)