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Sadler's Wells/BBC Arts - Dancing Nation - 28th January 2021

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Got through all 3 programmes now.

Can't help it, but the ballet pieces were my favourites - particularly Kenny Tindall's 'States of Mind' with Northern Ballet. Enjoyed that a lot, and will most certainly watch again, before it expires on iPlayer

Also liked Shades of Blue (Matsena) and Contagion (Shobaba Jeyasingh) among the non-ballet works, so Prog 3 definitely the best for me.

Other snippets I enjoyed included Stina Quagebeur's 'Hollow', BRB's Lazuli clip (Will Tuckett) which I would loved to have seen all of it again, and the duet between Akram Khan and Natalia Osipova

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I've also now watched all three programmes.  I think it was a fantastic achievement that Sadler's Wells was able to produce anything at the moment and there was a lot to enjoy over the three programmes.  I somehow managed to watch Episode 3 first so I ended up watching them back to front!  I agree with Dave that I thought episode 3 was the strongest overall.


The Matsena Productions excerpt of Shades of Blue was, for me, incredibly powerful.  When the speech was made at the end as the safety curtain lifted and showed the empty auditorium I was reduced to tears.


Obviously I am biased but I loved the excerpt from Kenny Tindall's States of Mind.


How apposite to show an excerpt from Shobana Jeyasingh's Contagion and what a powerful excerpt too.


Rambert's Rouge finished the event on a suitably high energy level.


In episode 2 I was mesmerised by Humanhood's Sphera - I thought it was beautiful.


More bias because I loved the excerpt from Birmingham Royal Ballet's Lazuli Sky and I loved Will Tuckett's interview before it was shown.


Another utterly mesmerising section was Akram Khan's duet Mud of Sorrow: Touch for himself and Natalia Ospiova.


Episode 1 got off to a very strong start with Matthew Bourne's early adventure Spitfire which is full of wit and humour.


Break-in" Convention's Window Shopping was a clever idea and I enjoyed some of the segments more than others.  The first piece with people looking in through the window at the 2 dancers was really poignant.


Stina Quagebeur's Hollow was a lovely lyrical duet and a fitting end to episode 1.


So they were my highlights of Dancing Nation but I must stress that I did enjoy all the episodes.



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I was very appreciative to have access to the programme being a resident outside of the UK!


For me I really enjoyed rewatching ‘Hollow’ by Stina Quagebeur (especially to get to appreciate the expressive Emily Suzuki) and to rewatch Shobana Jeyasingh’s ‘Contagion’. It was also lovely seeing Osipova take on the pas de deux from ‘Sacred Monsters’ with Akram Khan.


The pieces that really wowed me were in fact the works that were entirely new to me, ‘Shades of Blue’ and ‘BLCKDOG’ (which lived up to its hype imo- hopefully I’ll get to see the full work soon). I was also quite struck by the punchy short solo choreographed by Oona Doherty, who seems to be a rising star here in Ireland. 


Overall a programme with truly something for everyone!

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