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Ballet Nights: New Voices at Ministry of Sound | Review

The Ministry of Sound venue was a suitably alluring destination for Artistic Director, Jamiel Deverney-Laurence’s Ballet Nights scheme to bring contemporary choreographic and dance presentation to new audiences. Providing a superb and famous sound system along with a raised platform stage the Ministry of Sound’s support for the Ballet Nights brand is admirable. Ticket holders were invited to stay beyond the show for the Ministry of Sound’s main club night until 5am.

Ballet Nights MC Jamiel Devernay-Laurence at Ministry of Sound. Photo credit: G.S.
Ballet Nights MC Jamiel Devernay-Laurence at Ministry of Sound. Photo credit: G.S.

The show consisted of nine, mostly short pieces of dance, performed as an immersive event to a standing, pit style audience. The bar area where the two opening works were performed was too crowded to provide adequate sight lines for all. Visibility was improved in The Box/Clubroom area where the stage was used.

The first performance in the Box/Clubroom, ‘Spirit of The Machine’, choreographed by Jamiel Deverney-Laurence, was danced with elegance by Liam Woodvine and Alexander Fadayiro. An impression of the strength of this work was gained despite the confinement of the available space.

The next piece, ‘Jealously’, choreographed by the excellent James Cousins was performed as an impressive sculptural duet by Brenda Lee Grech and Tom Davis Dunn. The concept was an affair of the imagination for two lovers. This beyond reality notion was successfully communicated by the mobility and extraordinary strength of the two dancers. Here, the confinement of space, with the audience standing very close by worked, creating an intriguing sense of intimacy verging on voyeurism as the dancers entwined. The piece was about the imagination but the dance was real.

The other most successful piece of the evening also harnessed the necessary scale of confinement. This work was called ‘324a’ and was choreographed and performed by Joshua Junker to music by Bach having been created at his home address, ‘324a’, during Covid lockdown. It was lovely also describing through movement occasional frustration which never overwhelmed, however, the enchantment of this dance.

Some of the other works did not vary sufficiently in pace or could not soar, as these works did, beyond their confinement but it was throughout an enjoyable, relaxed event. Ballet Nights as a brand is important, on a mission to keep the financially struggling independent dance sector dynamic by providing showcases for emerging as well as known talent.

3 Star Review

Review by Marian Kennedy

THE 103/BAR

Show Opener
SEIRIAN GRIFFITHS
A gravity-defying mover unleashes his power!

Your Ghost
Choreographed and performed by: WATSON & WOODVINE
Music by Thom Yorke

Gathering Rhythms
Performed by: MANON SERVAGE, SOPHIE QUAY, ZACH PARKIN, IVAN MERINO GASPAR
Choreographed by Manon Servage, Sophie Quay
Music by Amiina

THE BOX/CLUBROOM

Spirit Of The Machine
Danced by LIAM WOODVINE & ALEXANDER FADAYIRO
Choreographed by: Jamiel Devernay-Laurence
Music by Sonia Killman
An exploration of how memory could be used by a dystopian society as a form of punishment – forcing those of us who do not conform into reliving our most painful memories.

Jealousy
JAMES COUSINS COMPANY
Performed by: BRENDA LEE GRECH and TOM DAVIS DUNN
Choreographed by: James Cousins
Music by Ben Frost
An imagined affair plays out in the deeply entwined world of two lovers

Splice
Performed by: HANNAH EKHOLM and FAYE STOESER
Choreographed by: Ekleido// Hannah Ekholm & Faye Steoser
Music by Floting Points

EKLEIDO – danced by HANNAH EKHOLM & FAYE STOESER

Insomnia
Performed by: FELICITY CHADWICK
Choreographed by: Nicholas Shoesmith
Music by: Ben Chatwin
The restless state of mind when you’re trying to switch off…

324a
Choreographed and performed by: JOSHUA JUNKER
Music: JS Bach
With thanks to the Royal Ballet
One choreographer’s challenging experience of creating work during lockdown at his home address – 324a

One
KENNEDY JUNIOR MUNTANGA
Choreographed by and performed by: KENNEDY JUNIOR MUNTANGA
Drummer: GUY SALIM
One Musician. One Dancer. One Purpose

Nerve Wire
Choreographed and performed by: PETT|CLAUSEN-KNIGHT
Music by: Sean Pett
James Pett and Travis Clausen-Knight
in their critically acclaimed, compelling, fierce and intricate duet

BALLET NIGHTS presents NEW VOICES at the legendary MINISTRY OF SOUND
a ground-breaking presentation of dance at the world-renowned club
Friday 31 May 2024 at 7:00pm

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