Deloitte Ignite, Royal Opera House, London
Wednesday 08 September 2010
Deloitte Ignite opened up the Royal Opera House in a weekend festival of contemporary art. Evening concerts were cheaply priced; events during the day were all free. The performances and installations went from the inventive to the bland.
This year's star curator was the pianist and composer Joanna MacGregor. She chose the theme of the forest, giving a fairy-tale atmosphere to many of the exhibits.
By far the strongest performance came from Phoenix Dance Theatre. Aletta Collins's new work, Maybe Yes Maybe, Maybe No Maybe worked splendidly in this space. A dancer shouted into a hanging microphone, bringing the drifting audience to attention with a jolt. Other dancers joined him in springy, combative steps. They created and reacted to sounds, shushing each other or flinching from a buzz like a wasp.
Freddie Opoku-Addaie provided a whimsical new work. His dancers withdrew into themselves. One man juggled, so absorbed that he didn't notice people around him, even when a woman climbed up his body.
Dancers from the Royal Ballet appeared in two duets. Ludovic Ondiviela's Duplicity started with masked dancers and a solemn voiceover proclaiming "To thine own self be true". The steps were conventional, but Claire Calvert danced elegantly. Liam Scarlett's Consolations had nicely assertive performances from Paul Kay and Leanne Cope.
In a new work by Sarah Dowling, dancers in beige frilly knickers were sold off by an auctioneer with a megaphone, while a live band played. Perhaps Dowling means to be satirical about the consumption of art, but the work has no bite.
The art installations were another mixed bunch. There was a forced theatricality to the forest of costumes strewn around the Crush Bar. The forest scene in the Linbury Studio Theatre was better: bark underfoot and gamelan-inspired works by John Cage and Steve Reich.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Game of Thrones season 5: Emilia Clarke praises characters who 'accept their femininity'
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Glastonbury 2015 tickets: How to make sure you’re successful in Sunday's re-sale
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate