Impressive but joyless contemporary dance
This article is from 2009.
There’s plenty to admire in this new show by all-male company 2FaCeD DaNcE, not least the virtuosity of UK breakdancing champion, Robby Graham. Plus some incredibly tight ensemble routines, which fuse street dance with contemporary to explore the possibilities and limitations of the body in space.
In these extended sequences the performers’ movements are deliberately, repeatedly frustrated by their proximity to the next dancer. And these restrictions are further compounded when the tall, sinister stepladder-like structures that bookend the stage begin moving inwards, squeezing the space tighter and tighter until the group are penned in, forced to extended their bodies upwards, grabbing frantically at the free air.
Yet, despite this attempt at a narrative through-line, and the charged bespoke score by Anthony Murphy, the show still feels a little disjointed, like a series of (admittedly impressive) vignettes strung together rather than a coherent, compelling whole. And for all the sweat-dripping commitment of the dancers and the sharpness of their routines, there’s something rather joyless about the spectacle, with little attempt made to connect with the audience.
Zoo Southside, 662 6892, until 31 Aug (not 24), 4.30pm, £12–£13 (£10–£11).