There are two sections of such exciting poetic and visual beauty in Another Kind of Blue performed by this Netherlands-based contemporary dance company it’s unmissable.
David Middendorp is the founding artistic director whose choreography and visual presentations teem with ideas and imaginative connections. He creates an incredible visual interplay between his dancers and their context using drones to connect what is being performed on stage to a screen on which stunning images of them moving are projected.
Middendorp knows exactly what he’s doing even when taking risks. He has harnessed technology to bring the wonder of nature into the Peacock Theatre auditorium making his dancers part of and belong to that wonder. His choreography is either rich with poetic feeling or fizzing with spectacular energy.
Flyland in a Room performed by Antonio Milazzo and Corrine Cillia in a Room stuns. It’s a foretaste of what’s to come in As it Appears which is about someone in his sitting room with the moon at his window and an oil painting on his wall. It’s only by entering the powerfully painted landscape of this painting he can meet the person he’s looking for. The music by Genevieve Murphy and Radiohead is evocative, the decor is made largely in virtual reality so at times you can barely believe what you’re seeing. (It was created in collaboration with Dutch Tilt Studios). The duet between Jeroen van Acker and Falzah Grootens (opening night cast) is gorgeous, very moving.
Blue Journey is a new version of the piece Middendorp created for the Dutch ballet company Introdans which became a sensation on America’s Got Talent in which he was invited to participate in 2014. (Don’t let this brush with popularism put you off seeing this show if you love the best contemporary dance). This new version perhaps lacks sufficient focus, goes on too long with not enough development beyond its primary theme.
But generally this show is a huge relief in a dance season which (with honourable exceptions) has largely presented choreography which is based on too limited ideas and while beautifully presented has been largely devoid of feeling. Empty. This show is the anecdote. If five stars are what’s needed to make you go and see it, five stars it is.
Review by Marian Kennedy
Modern dance meets cutting-edge drone technology in the magical and inspiring new work by Britain’s Got Talent finalists, Another Kind of Blue.
Flirt With Reality explores the very nature and extent of reality and how those borders have become blurred in our increasingly virtual world. Dancers literally collide with digital matter and drones in an imaginative, gravity-defying dreamscape of fantasy and rhythm.
Another Kind of Blue — Flirt with Reality
9 – 14 July 2019
Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, WC2A 2HT