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Singapore Dance Theatre - Passages (Contemporary Season) - Timothy Harbour, Tim Rushton (MBE), Ma Cong (Oct 2018)


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In Oct 2018, Singapore Dance Theatre held its annual Contemporary season, Passages. Just sharing a flavour of the works below (including information on the choreographers), and links to longer reviews :)

 

1. Another Energy, by Timothy Harbour, had been created for the company in 2015. Timothy Harbour danced with The Australian Ballet and is now a choreographer working with TAB as well as across Australia and internationally, creating works for NYCB, the Queensland Ballet, etc. Most recently, he created a world premiere for SDT, Linea Adora, that was reviewed favourably by Dance Europe.

Another Energy is a fast-paced, delightful work in which the dancers appear to represent clear lines and planes, and vibrant pulsating drops of energy. It's an inventive, energetic work - the pas de trois is a slick work of fast beats, slicing hands and incredible partnership. I also particularly enjoyed the two pas de deux - the first, a pleasant, contemporary-style waltz with unconventional moves e.g. the female dancer stepping through a loop created by the dancers' arms; and the second, a powerful show of strength and passion, involving incredible lifts and waterwheel turns; and the superb ending and curtain call, with the dancers sliding from side to side and peeking out like drops of mercury.

 

More details are in this review - Another Energy.

 

2. Evening Voices, by Tim Rushton - a company and world premiere. Born in Birmingham, Tim Rushton trained at the Royal Ballet Upper School and danced in various North European companies and is currently the Artistic Director of, and choreographer at, the Danish Dance Theatre.

This work was inspired by, and set to, Rachmaninov's Vespers (All-Night Virgil), and is a soulful, lyrical work that touched the audience. Soft-limbed dancers; inventive choreography with strong images: ladies like cats poised on their partners' limbs, or lying like Cleopatra across the men's shoulder blades, or peeled off the ground leaving only their heads and shoulder-blades on the ground, their body lifted like a question mark; an emotional, complicated pas de trois that seems to depict two men struggling over their love of a lady whom they seem to simultaneously wish to raise up and worship, and yet also to pin down; a remarkable use of arms to create a giant whale's mouth that opens upon exploration by a dancer, a mouth that pinches itself together into a link-chain; dancers' hands fluttering like butterflies.

 

More on Evening Voices :)

 

3. Shadow's Edge, by Ma Cong - a 2014 company premiere. Currently the Resident Choreographer of Tulsa Ballet, Ma Cong trained at the Beijing Dance Academy, has danced with The National Ballet of China and has had a stellar dancing career as a principal in many leading works, and as a choreographer of many award-winning works.

This is a vivid work, though slightly softer on this viewing. It's also the most classical-looking of the three - dancers swirling through sharp pointe work, quick group work and bold dancing; and a plot twist where a seeming finale to glorious moving choral music suddenly halts and shifts into a heart-racing finish and a flurry of limbs. A masterpiece of action, this has always been popular :)

 

Shadow's Edge, in a little more detail.

 

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Thanks indeed @squadron, Tim Harbour's work always interests me. This sounds like something I would enjoy seeing - and thank you for posting the music link on your (?) blog. If I can hear the music I can visualise a review so much better! Tim does often use interesting music - for Filigree and Shadow for TAB he collaborated with 48 Nord, for Sweedeedee he and Chong Lim put together score that used live blues singers (and players!) in the pit, which really told a story when I was able to read the lyrics of the songs used.

 

Tim's wife Madeleine Eastoe was one of TAB's most well-loved ballerinas until her retirement in 2015, and unlike some others, we are lucky to have several of her performances recorded on DVD.

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Thank you @Jan McNulty - glad that there's interest in SDT and happy to share!

 

Thank you @Sophoife- I am so glad to see a fan of his here, and thank you for sharing so much about Tim Harbour and his works. Filigree and Shadow looks delightful - a ball of energy and a ball of a time. Sweedeedee sounds really amazing too - truly inspired and inspiring.

I know so little about TAB myself, so thank you for sharing! My friend was fortunate enough to watch Tim Harbour dance (and I imagine his wife as well), some years ago. I shall look up Madeleine Eastoe - it's good that many of her performances are recorded on DVD!

 

Oh yes - it is my blog :) If you've not seen Timothy Harbour's brilliant Linea Adora yet, it is described here (created for SDT's 30th Anniversary Gala), including musical cues. I think my words don't do it justice - I saw it in-studio again on Friday at an event, and it was breathtaking :)

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