Silent Lines is a new work choreographed by Russell Maliphant and performed by his dance company. It’s an abstract work relying on movement, music and clever light effects to absorb the audience which it successfully does. Much more so than his other recent work, The Golden Thread.
Running at an hour Silent Lines opens with five dancers performing as indistinct figures bound together moving between dappled light and shade as if underwater through sunshine and shadow. The costumes by Stevie Stewart complement these stunning lighting effects by Maliphant & Panagiotis Tomaras .This opening is mesmerising holding the attention before, perhaps, going on for a little too long though when the ensemble breaks up the pace changes into a thrilling extended scene of dynamic movement before the work becomes more meditative again.
The tumbled arcing shapes of the three male and two female dancers throughout are gorgeous to watch. In particular Moronfoluwa Odimayo who creates impressions with his fluid limbs as if he’s being watched on speeded up film, he’s a dancer who draws the eye.
Extracts of music include the crackling loveliness of Berceuse de Jocelyn by Bernard Godard being played on the violin by Vasa Prihoda in 1929, taking us into times past. Most moving of all is the ending when the ensemble regroups to Chopin’s Piano Concerto No 2 as this piece conjures the happiness of a river flowing through sunshine before its notes fall away leaving the dancers as if forever left together among the joyous beauty of a spring morning. Bringing the poetry of nature and human mortality right onto Maliphant’s stage.
Review by Marian Kennedy
Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist and two-time Olivier Award-winner Russell Maliphant has long been fascinated by the human body.
For his new work, he delves into his research and studies in anatomy and biomechanics. Drawing on a variety of movement disciplines, and setting them within a landscape of animated video projection from video and light artist Panagiotis Tomaras, Maliphant and his company of dancers explore the poetry of connections between our internal and external worlds, and how they affect the very act of movement.
Russell Maliphant Dance Company — Silent Lines
18 & 19 October 2019
Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R