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Phoenix Dance Theatre - Autumn Tour 2014

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I drove to Halifax last Wednesday to see Phoenix Dance Theatre's latest tour.  Because of roadworks the 66 mile journey took me 3 hours and I arrived at the theatre literally as the curtain was about to go up.  Needless to say I was hot and bothered!


The evening started with Didy Veldman's See Blue Through, which turned out to be very soothing to my troubled eyes!  According to the programme note See Blue Through plunges the stage into a fascinating, mysterious undersea world and I think that the work very much succeeded in giving this impression.  The lyrical, elegant choreography was beautifully brought to life by the seven dancers.  The costumes were tops and shorts, with the tops having an extreme stretch that was incorporated into the choreography, being pulled up to cover a dancer's head or the sleeves extending out a couple of feet beyond the end of a dancer's arm.


After the interval we saw Ivgi and Greben's document, a work for 5 dancers.  The stage was dark and the dancers started as a group hardly moving at all before they gradually started moving both together and singly in agitated and repetitive moves.  I very much felt that the dancers were institutionalised and trapped in world from which they did not know how to escape.  I felt myself totally drawn into this dark, forbidding world.  As a piece it was quite mesmerising to watch.  To say I enjoyed it is probably not accurate but it was satisfying and meaty and compelling.


For the final treat of the evening we saw Darshan Singh Bhuller's Mapping, inspired by his Father's journey from East to West.  It was full of joyous choreography and there were obvious moves that were influenced by classical Indian dance.  The piece started with a beautiful solo (or possibly a duet with a small, glowing blue ball) from Ben Mitchell.  The glowing blue ball was obviously choreographed and we discovered later that it was controlled by an ipad!  It enhanced the beauty of Ben's solo.  There were some mirrors overhead that reflected the dancers at times and there were also sequences where cameras were used with the images of the dancers being displayed onto a screen.  This was an inventive and ingenious piece full of light and warmth and I loved it!


The post show Q&A was terrific too.


I may have had a total nightmare getting to the performance but I am so glad I made the effort as it was a truly enjoyable evening.


The journey home was fine too!

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Due to calendar overload I was going to sit this one out, but after reading Janet's description of the programme I *had* to get a ticket to sate my curiosity about the blue ball. The Ivgi and Greben piece also sounds intriguing.

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