The Coronet Theatre
Reviewed – 7th February 2020
“the emotion and beauty with which Maliphant and Fouras dance, and create, together is truly stunning”
Maliphantworks3 opens with movement and light and sound, the three key ingredients of choreographer Russell Maliphant’s work. He is joined onstage by Dana Fouras, and together they investigate the relationship of these three components through a three-part evening of dance.
‘The Space Between’, our first act, begins as two dancers (Maliphant and Fouras) rise up from the floor, their facial features made indistinguishable by the patterns of animated light rippling across the stage, crawling up the walls. The piece was made in collaboration with video artist Panagiotis Tomaras, a collaboration which pushes even further the possibilities of light and shape to transform a space and the people who move within it. Maliphant and Tomaras designed the lighting together. Each section of the dance is marked by a change in light and a change in music (sound design by Fouras). In one, Maliphant dances solo, rising and falling, following light that forms like cells across the floor. In another the two dancers are visible alternately, each contained in separate squares of light that strobe faster and faster. Sometimes the sound design is so loud we can’t hear them move across the floor. Sometimes the sound design is so quiet we can hear the dancers breathe. Following their solos, the two dancers come together again for a finale duet, a beautiful moment of union.
The second part of the evening is two short films. Both films, which premiere tonight, have been created in collaboration with photographer Julian Broad. Dana Fouras dances in the first, a single figure swathed in material that means the silhouette of her body is continually changing as she moves. The second film is another solo piece, this time featuring Maliphant, who dances within a hanging orange elastic like he is testing gravity. This film is made up of many different shots, the light changing from one to the next, white then blue then grey.
The final part of our evening is once again live. A pulsing light transforms into an orange backlight that makes the dancers look close to silhouetted. A pulsing beat transforms into a light, fast strumming. In contrast to the speed of the music, the dancers’ move with a mesmerising slowness here, and there is an intense intimacy in the way they move with each other, around each other, over and under each other. This intimacy makes for a deeply moving performance, a fitting end to this triple bill of dance. This work, entitled ‘Duet’ returns to the stage after its success in Maliphantsworks2 in 2018.
Maliphantworks3 is a beautiful evening of dance, that redefines the relationship of movement with light and with sound. With an emphasis on duets in the programme, the emotion and beauty with which Maliphant and Fouras dance, and create, together is truly stunning.
Reviewed by Amelia Brown
Photography by Julian Broad
The Coronet Theatre until 22nd February
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