Dancers issue a daring invitation to the ball

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The Independent Culture
JUGGLING used to be the preserve of the circus and the piazza at Covent Garden. Then in the late 1980s it became a pastime for stressed-out sales executives. Now, with the Gandini Juggling Project, it has been reincarnated as a dance form. At lea st, theProject's latest show, bizarrely named caught - "stilL"/hanging . . . , is choreographed by Gill Clarke (of the Siobhan Davies Company), and opens next month's Spring Loaded season of new dance. Yet of the four performers only one has a backgroun d in dance: others have majored in gymnastics, circus skills and mathematics - disciplines that find a happy unity when balls, clubs, human bodies and huge swinging pendulums have to share a stage. Simply keeping lots of balls in the air is old hat, acco rdingto the company's founder, Sean Gandini. Now the desired effect is more aesthetic, intellectual even. "But inevitably if you start throwing things people wonder if you'll drop any.'' And do they? "Out of 4,000 throws and catches in a show, we might

drop eight." Butterfingers. (Dance Agency, SE10, 081-293 9741, Thurs; Circus Space, E8, 071-613 4141, Fri to Sun 29 Jan; Bracknell South Hill Park, 0344 484123, 11 Feb; Liverpool Unity Theatre, 051-709 4988, 18 Feb; The Place, WC1, 071-387 0031, 21 & 22

Feb; then touring.) Jenny Gilbert