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…)

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