Dance review: Phoenix Dance Theatre

Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, London

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The Independent Culture

Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Company has bright dancers who look ready to take on everything. In the mixed bill Particle Velocity, they go from the lyricism of Richard Alston’s All Alight to the messy relationship of Douglas Thorpe’s Tender Crazy Love.

All Alight, Alston’s first work for Phoenix, is a springy dance to Ravel’s sonata for violin and cello. It’s full of light, curling lines, dancers flitting in and out like leaves on the breeze. Phoenix’s dancers have sharper edges than Alston’s own company, but distinctive attack. They have a gentle intimacy in the dance’s changing moods.

Inspired by the life of Genghis Khan, Jose Agudo’s Ki shows a man pulling himself up to power. In a taut, powerful performance, Josh Wille crouches on the floor, curling in on himself, then unfolds with fierce strength.

Tender Crazy Love starts with Sandrine Monin and Phil Sanger eyeing each other up like a couple in a club, fascinated and drawn in. He bends to kiss her hand, an unexpectedly formal gesture, and she rears back, kicking off an aggressive duet, pushing and pulling.

Repetition of Change, by Phoenix artistic director Sharon Watson, is a weak finale, trying to evoke the world of DNA with billowing fabric and zigzagging dancers.

Until 23 November. Box office 020 7304 4000. Tour continues until 28 November.