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Ballet Cymru triple @ Lilian Baylis, Sadlers Wells Nov 2019

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Tri Darn / Three Works 

Celtic Concerto (Darius James & Amy Doughty)

Divided We Stand (Patricia Vallis)

Wired to the Moon (Charlotte Edmonds)


Went to see Ballet Cymru this evening, performing their new triple bill at the Lilian Baylis Studio Theatre (in Sadlers Wells). It was a shortish, but terrific evening's entertainment, has to be said.

The first piece, Celtic Concerto, was a tribute to harpist and composer (and company patron) Catrin Finch. Choreographed by Darius James and Amy Doughty (the Artistic Director and Assistant Director) it was simply the joy of dancing made physical. The women had rather striking black 'puff' tutus which enhanced the joyous movement no end. All the dancers sidled on as the lights got brighter and for the forst movement all danced together, coming together as a pair for a lift or some other partnering. The second movement, one couple danced a lovely pdd, then a second came on and took up the mantle, and then a third. It was very effective. The final movement all the dancers began assembling again for a finale worthy of the name


The second piece was 'Divided We Stand' by Patricia Vallis. This had two groups in confrontation with each other, aggressively and combatively challenging each other. Gradually, partnerships began to form, the 'kilts' were lost and a more understanding and soothing atmosphere took over, as couples and trios 'spoke' to each other, rather than 'shouted at' each other. But never did the tension break as such.


The final piece was by Charlotte Edmonds (Wired to the Moon) and may be one of the best things I've seen from her. Starting off a bit like a Pina Bausch piece, but with dancing, we had a 'set' of pot plants, CRT tellies showing what looked like street riots, and a dozen white boxes, each big enough to hide a dancer - and one did. We had been cleared from the auditorium so when we re-entered a couple of dancers and boxes (which got moved around to form new shapes) already in place and as the stage lights came up, and the house lights dimmed, we realised they had already started. The dancers were kitted out in heavy grey suits, under which they had nothing but some somewhat battered looking vests and pants. Eventually, as the piece progressed, dancers took turns shedding the suits in various ways. Nothing says 'stick it to the man' as shedding your grey suit and dancing in your vest and pants!! All the while, an electronic timer was counting down (and sped up as pauses in the music happened and dancers repositioned), as well as a stream of sand falling from the ceiling, as if in an hour glass. The final visage, as the counter went to zero and the lights went off, was of one of the female dancers being promenaded on one of those white boxes, as if a ballerina in a music box.


All in all, a really good evening - wish I had gone on Sunday as well now.

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Thanks zxDaveM for such a wonderful and insightful review. I saw the triple bill in Newport on Saturday evening and also really enjoyed. I thought Celtic Concerto and Wired to the moon were particularly good. I didn't read everything quite as clearly as you though, so I too now wish I could watch it all again!

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