Henry Oguike Company, South Hill Park, Bracknell

While it might appear that the best contemporary dance all happens in London, it really isn't so. These days smart British choreographers are discovering the benefits - and not just the grant-chasing necessity - of trugging their work round the country, finding that more intimate venues are often more accommodating.

I first saw Henri Oguike's Second Signal - a piece set to live Japanese Taiko drumming - in the gaping space of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and yes, it was impressive. But seeing it up close the other day in the cosier setting of a Berkshire arts centre was something else. The thundering beats of the three onstage drummers punched my rib cage with such force that I feared, momentarily, for cardiac cases in the house. I caught every flicker of detail in the dancers' response as they quivered like reverberating drum skins. For a riveting 20 minutes, I became less a spectator than a seismometer, registering the force of a physical phenomenon as powerful as theatre-dance gets.

Oguike - half-Nigerian, half-Welsh - has only been making dance professionally for five or six years but already he's proved himself the most versatile choreographer on the circuit. What's more, while there's never any doubting his seriousness, he never forgets that his audience wants to have a good time. Typical of this generosity of spirit is the new Tiger Dancing, inspired by Blake's "Tyger" poem and set to a string-orchestra commission by Steve Martland, buoyant and ambitious in scale.

The eight dancers are rigged out in tigerish slashes and stripes, but it's other creatures of the forest - rather less fearful in symmetry - who supply the movement imagery: a waggly-shouldered strut, an antelope leap, a crocodile snap, a weird, upended balance of a wading bird peering at us past its leg. Yet what's it's not is a bunch of people pretending to be animals. Motifs are fully digested so that what remains is principally a sense of the suddennesses and stillnesses of feral behaviour, cutting across the busy thrum of the music's texture. For once, though, I felt the score outran Oguike's stock of ideas.

It's always impressive when a choreographer finds the time and energy to dance in his own shows, but the purpose is also practical: a solo allows the rest of the company to catch their breath. Whatever, Oguike's unusual combination of manly build and feline delicacy is always a pleasure to watch, though in Expression Lines - an evocation of the Sahara with music by Ali Farka Toure - he wilfully hides his face in shadow. Guy Hoare's lighting, from two moveable low lamps, mimics the harsh contrasts of equatorial sand and sky, while Oguike becomes a conduit for Toure's buzzing, mozarabic blues guitar.

As is his wont, Oguike signs off with a chuckle and a tip of the hat, this time to a concerto by Vivaldi. Packed with gags (dancers passing through an imagined airport security scanner in various daffy ways), he finds hilarity in the baroque ritornello where others wouldn't dare. I'm not sure Bracknell picked up the tongue-in-cheek profanity of the lugubrious pieta duet for two boys as Christ and Mary Magdalene. But it was impossible to miss the uplift of the anarchic finale. Go Vivaldi. Go Oguike.

Gardner Centre, Brighton (01273 685861) Tue; Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon (01874 611622) Thur; touring


Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

Arts and Entertainment
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

Arts and Entertainment
Panic! In The Disco's Brendon Urie performs on stage

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform