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Devizes Festival: Mapdance, Corn Exchange
8:16am Friday 22nd June 2012 in Theatre & Arts
The Devizes Festival dance event saw the return of Mapdance, the postgraduate company from Chichester University.
The yearly change of dancers and the invitation of different professional choreographers means that only the artistic director, Detta Howe, was the familiar face.
Her work, See, Listen, Here, opened the show with a soloist performing to Bach’s Cello suite No 1 and thereafter it was included between the other two works of the first half.
Saju Hari, from the Akram Khan company, choreographed the second work. “Edges” brought satin-sashed colourful dancers - all 13 of the company - exploring a cross of martial art and southern Asian dance forms resulting in an “exuberant, abstract, physical, poetic and hard hitting” impressive experience.
Keira Martin’s “Strange Journey” was the only piece we had seen before but in a different guise. Reworked, this folk-based extravaganza - relentless and engaging - concluded the first half of impressive work.
A different experience was to be had from the second half where Matteo Fargion’s Wrong Songs gave the impression that you might have been at a drama improvisation session to start with.
It comprised sounds, singing, shouting and apparent (but apparently not) random, improvised movement. Tightly choreographed to look random, this contrasting physical theatre piece led into another, to start with, similarly theatrical finale.
Nigel Charnock of renowned DV8 fame, choreographed “XX”, exploring the heaven and hell relationships between men and women. Opening in a strong theatrical style the piece developed through changes of costume style and texture to a strong dance finale. Dancers are said to be the some of the strongest of athletes and we did get a taste of why that is with this energetic and exuberant performance.
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