White Christmas, The Place, London

3.00

Studio theatres are usually painted black - absorbing light, helping to conceal scenery changes from an audience sitting very close. This year, the specialist dance theatre The Place celebrates Christmas by repainting its stage area, making a bright white box. Over the next fortnight, 37 choreographers will show short (often new) works in this shiny white setting. Inevitably, quality varies. The first night was a very mixed bag; upcoming names include choreographers Richard Alston, Siobhan Davies, Shobana Jeyasingh.

Painted white, the stage seems twice the size, and it looks terrific - best of all in the opening work by Kim Brandstrup, a dance to a Handel aria, lit by hundreds of candles. Those banks of naked flames probably explain the first-night fire alarm, but they cast a soft glow over this mournful solo for the Royal Ballet's Zenaida Yanowsky.

In recent years, Brandstrup has developed a new style, psychological dramas in short solos or duets. His piece for Yanowsky is one example. The new duet Theme and Inversion, also on this programme, is another. Natalia Thorn and Gildas Diquero lean against the wall, some distance apart. She reaches out to him; when her fingers touch him, she gives him a push. As a waltz theme cuts into the piano soundtrack, they sweep into couple dances - but Thorn leads Diquero, spinning or dipping him. The dynamic between this couple keeps changing, the dancers soft or wary.

Laila Diallo's Between the Shingle and the Dune, which she dances with Theo Clinkard, is another relationship duet. The dancers lie in a square patch of light - this could be a lazy Sunday - then move away from each other, snuggle close, drift apart. It's clearly danced, and Diallo establishes moods, but this piece would be tauter if it were edited down.

This first White Christmas show mixes the accomplished and the dreary. Several dances are much too long. Frederick Opoku-Addaie has a group of lively dancers, but he keeps stopping to harangue the audience or his cast. Hofesh Shechter's Untitled also addresses its audience. As the elegant Elizabetta d'Aloia goes through Shechter's stretches, the choreographer drones on the soundtrack. "This is the first part of the piece. It is about love." At last d'Aloia walks offstage, leaving Shechter plaintively asking her to return. It's a clunky idea, stretched over 11 minutes.

To 17 December (020-7387 0031)

Arts and Entertainment

Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy

Arts and Entertainment
And now for something completely different: the ‘Sin City’ episode of ‘Casualty’
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
    RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

    RuPaul interview

    The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
    Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

    Secrets of comedy couples

    What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
    Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

    Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

    While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
    The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

    The best swimwear for men

    From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
    Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

    Mark Hix goes summer foraging

     A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket