Wayne McGregor/Random Dance, Sadler's Wells, London
Friday 19 November 2010
Wayne McGregor's dancers move as if they have a few more vertebrae than the rest of us. They are rarely relaxed or neutral. Backs arch, buttocks jut, shoulders hunch and wrists twist. For all the curlicues, they dance with attack and clarity, both mannered and highly articulate.
McGregor's new work, FAR, was inspired by the medical historian Roy Porter's Flesh in the Age of Reason. The choreographer has collaborated with neuroscientists to see how mind and body work together. In demand all over the world, McGregor created FAR for his own company, Random Dance.
The work opens with a stylised sense of the past. Four dancers bring on flaming torches; a couple dance to Vivaldi. The firelit duet is a polite version of McGregor's usual style. As the duet ends, Vivaldi is drowned out by Ben Frost's electronic score. More dancers appear; McGregor's experiments look like tests.
It is a collaborative work. The remarkable set, a flat panel with protruding light rods, was created by McGregor's rAndom International. Lit by Lucy Carter, it creates an amazing range of images and textures. Just as you recognise a pattern, it changes. McGregor may be playing with expectation, but he is also meandering. Frost's score cuts between fierce crunchings, static and rich layers of humming sound. Design and sound have more momentum than the dancing.
Some sequences stand out. Two men dance together. It's a surprise when one bursts into a star jump. Three dancers flop on top of each other and lie with wrists flapping. Is that the only part of the body that can still move?
FAR is a choppy experience. It's not just that it is episodic, with its changing moods. The pace lags, as if McGregor's attention had wandered between experiments.
Ends tomorrow (0844 412 4300); 'FAR' goes on a world tour in 2011
Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boymusic
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
Gaza Banksy mural sold to 'conman' for just $175
Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
Top Gear live to go ahead: Jeremy Clarkson to join Richard Hammond and James May... just don't call it Top Gear
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans