Burst at Yorkshire Dance reviewed by Char Arnold (2nd Year).

Friday Firsts #31: Burst!

new choreographic talent bursting onto the scene


Image credit: Zoe Bradley

Burst (curated by Melanie Purdie) was Yorkshire Dance’s thirty-first instalment of Friday Firsts and a collection of both thought provoking and light hearted pieces.

The evening, separated into two parts opened with Emily Rose Start’s Space Studies. The use of multi-coloured lights meant that these beautiful rainbow shadows were projected onto the floor- transforming the piece into an experimental playground where the two dancers became intertwined in a visceral, pulsating duet.

Jamaal Burkmar’s piece Sonder enticed the audience with a controlled and sensitive movement vocabulary. Burkmar asked us to try to understand the stories and intention behind each movement.  The dancers guided us through the piece which we shared with them, witnessing as much as participating.

Throw like a Girl (choreographed by Rachel Clarke and Nicole Godfrey), meanwhile, opened with a striking spot lit solo which oozed control and power. Constantly dipping into the societal conventions surrounding gender, this duet wrestled with its theme through a highly rhythmical duet dashed a hint of humour.

Perhaps the most powerful piece of the night was Hannah Courtney’s duet, One through five. It seems very rare to experience movement with such emotion and power and yet such subtly. Courtney really tapped into how emotion rocks each person and so presented the audience with something so human and relatable, that it was impossible not to empathise with the dancers.

In Centrefold by Joss Arnott each dancer attacked the movement with determination as they attempted to encapsulate the choreography. Whilst not my favourite piece of the evening it had to be said the University Cast Doncaster closed the first half of the evening with a powerful unified piece.

The second half opened with Mazpod Rhythmic Stories, fusing storytelling, voice, live music and insatiable humour. With the audience sat round in a circle, Mad Meg was a feel good, witty and enchanting piece, which led the viewer through the life of Meg in such a way that everyone was captivated, hanging on to every moment.

In comparison, Esther Verlaque and Zoe Bradley’s If I Had, I Would Have Done, used the collaboration between film and a live quartet to give the appearance of lots of clips from a much longer sequence. At times eerie, and hauntingly beautiful Verlaque and Bradley left you scrambling to fill in the gaps.

Unlike the other pieces I am still undecided about Dan Craddock’s solo, Rhythm is a Daniel. Maybe it was his choice of black leotard and tights, or his voracious straight faced wit, but undoubtedly Craddock’s solo was one of the highlights of the night. To sum up, two thousand years of dance history told through feathers, bubbles, audience members impersonating peacocks and contact improvisation with a wall…

The penultimate piece showed us a bubbly ‘happy slappy’ relationship between Phung and Simmons. TM Dance Company successfully captured the transition to manhood with a youthful tone whilst finding a reminiscence for the past that the audience could understand.

To conclude the night Gary Clarke presented Revolt: a gritty and powerful piece that highlighted the struggle of the miners during the 1984 strikes. Deliberately provocative, EdgeFWD were emotive and meaningful with their intentions whilst packing a hefty punch.

Without a doubt Burst, brought together a variety of exciting, contrasting and well thought about pieces which represented beautifully the creativity of emerging students and graduates in and around Yorkshire.

Char Arnold.

One response to “Burst at Yorkshire Dance reviewed by Char Arnold (2nd Year).

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