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Heteropodi Dance Company:
Masa Kolar & Ognjen Vucinic:
Avant Garde Dance:
Big Dance Lindy-Hoppers/
Greenwich, Borough Hall
by Libby Costello
Greenwich Dance (gDA) has now established its Cabaret evenings as a kookie collection of dance, circus and performance art compared by stand up poet Elvis McGonagall who blends satirical political and artistic pros. This months gDA Cabaret was sadly the last before Christmas but on a happier note it saw the launch of T-Mobile Big Dance.
The Big Cabaret on first impressions felt like you’d walked into a distance relatives wedding reception - many smiles and quick introductions around communal tables which luckily had waiter service! As gDA tea dance participants sat beside trendy Soho artists the true brilliance of this cabaret came to light. The live music, provided by Jules Maxwell, Foy Vance and Phil Wilkinson was a great icebreaker and their Sinatra croons a comfortable background for getting to know strangers and a great mood setter.
The companies on display for the evening came from Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and the UK. Heteropodi Dance Company performed an intense contemporary duet with stylistic features of the Foxtrot and Tango. Although the pair rarely touched in the initial sections their partnership, through mirroring, eye contact and proximity of space was stronger than any ballroom hold. Rolls and floorwork did not break their connection as impulses resonated from their pelvis’s.
© Rachel Cherry
Masa Kolar & Ognjen Vucinic from Croatia brought a stereotypically costumed contemporary piece in big black knickers and sexy tight tunics. The wide legged lunges and repetitive familiar gestures brought humour due to the uncommon circumstances in which they were executed. UTF 8 choreographed material with such humour, breadth and depth that it was a perfect blend of the Cholmondeleys and Rambert with a dash of Henri Oguike Dance Company to add that moody broody atmosphere.
Avant Garde Dance Company provided the Street Dance element of the night and whilst their movements were varied and well choreographed they lacked a good performance quality – this could have been due to the sheer number of dancers on stage. Sarah Dowling’s Amuseme also failed to pack a punch, despite small interludes of Dowling’s piece littering the first half, the full choreography seemed disconnected to it’s theme. Exploring the idea of ‘what happens when the TV is switched off’ Dowlings work was the result of 2 weeks research. There are many good elements, so it’s one to watch once it’s been refined and polished.
© Rachel Cherry
Cementing the community dance feel of the evening was the Big Dance Lindy-Hoppers, led by artist in residence Temujin Gill. This twenty strong piece ended the evening on a jovial high, launching the T-Mobile Big Dance Programme. As the Big Dance hub for South East London, Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham will be alive with dance seeing events, from 3-11 July, taking place at locations including the O2, Eltham Place, The Churchill Theatre, The Glades Shopping Centre and Crystal Palace Park.