Summer Collection, Clore Studio, Royal Opera House , London
Thursday 30 July 2009
This year's Summer Collection has new momentum. The Royal Opera House's biennial season of contemporary dance is a mix of guest companies, associate artists and in-house work. The new streamlined programme, curated by Theresa Beattie, is faster paced than in previous years, short numbers put briskly together.
There's also a greater focus on new commissions, works created within the Royal Opera House. This programme included several pieces developed in Dancelines, a project for new choreography guided by Wayne McGregor, the Royal Ballet's resident choreographer.
Royal Ballet dancer Ludovic Ondiviela presented Hypnosis, a quirky solo about memory. Wax Tailor's soundtrack includes the voice of a hypnotist, counting a subject into a trance. The dancer's steps count up and down with the hypnotist's numbers, the same sequences pulling her in and out of consciousness.
There's nothing dreamy about Ondiviela's dance: even in a trance, Kristen McNally is alert and kooky. She swings her shoulders jauntily, hips dipping as she thrusts out a leg or tilts her torso. Ondiviela's look at memory and identity is inventive. He keeps changing the sequences, turning movements round, finding new angles.
McNally's On Another Planet also involves reacting to a voiceover. This time, we hear voices discussing a woman seen in the street. McNally changes her pose to meet the commentary. Around her, other dancers wander through steps, people on the street. McNally is lively, but the piece is unfocused.
Transmission, by Alexander Whitley of Rambert Dance Company, is more of a work in progress. Three dancers work through their steps, full of angular poses and extra twists. Transmission has interesting movement studies, but doesn't yet feel like a completed dance.
Laila Diallo has just been appointed associate artist at the Royal Opera House. Between the Shingle and the Dune is a new version of a duet created in 2005. Diallo lies with her head on Theo Clinkard's stomach, a couple on a lazy Sunday. They move away from each other, dance in isolation. The Nina Simone soundtrack suggests a harsher edge to the relationship; the steps are less precise.
The evening ends with Pendulum, a duet created by Martin Lawrance for Ballet Black. Sarah Kundi and Jade Hale-Christofi fold in and out of their tick-tock poses, sleek and polished.
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