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Sadler’s Wells Sampled – February 2017 – Review

Sampled at Sadler's WellsSampled is a terrific opportunity to watch a range of dance forms, superbly done, during the course of one evening. An annual event at Sadler’s Wells it will be touring to The Lowry, Salford Quay’s (24th and 25th February) and the Birmingham Hippodrome (3rd and 4th March) The short pieces showcased this year feature ballet, flamenco, hip hop, tango, tap and contemporary dance, exposing old and new audience members alike to styles of dance they might not have experienced before.There’s a useful, short film of introduction to each of the artists and their work.

The show opens with a stunning piece, Still, a Russell Maliphant Company production, featuring Dickson Mbi and Carys Staton in a box of projected graphics with music of enormous power.

Next, comes a flamenco piece in which love becomes a battlefield, one in which the women own their power. The combination of Javier Rivera’s voice and Toni Stuart’s spoken text together is another marvel.

And so the show sets off at a cracking pace of movement and feeling, taking full advantage of the height of the main stage at Sadler’s which is transformed to stunning effect from an Indian Temple to Buenos Aires to Venice and other places in between.

There’s bound to be more than one piece you love and, as all the work is performed to an exceedingly high standard, it’s perfectly enjoyable to expose yourself to different dance forms than your usual.

Excerpts of two productions coming to Sadler’s during 2017, Dorrance Dance with their tap show and Casanova, by Northern Ballet, look terrific indeed.

Sampled is something of a festival occasion.The seats have been removed from the first half of the stalls so there’s a mingling mosh pit with beat music played during the interval. With live dance taking place in the foyer and music on the mezzanine provided by DJ D. Vysor you can move to yourself if so inclined.

The last piece of the performance evening, Sinestesia, is stunning. Performed by Iron Skulls Co, an experimental dance company it will likely energise you and make you determined to be back in that auditorium again very soon.

4 stars

Review by Marian Kennedy

Celebrating a decade since its launch, Sampled is a chance for dance fans and newcomers alike to enjoy a diverse range of styles from some of the world’s finest dancers at a specially reduced price.

After a stunning performance at last year’s Sampled, Argentinian world champion tango dancers Julia Urruty and Claudio Gonzalez are coming back.

Also making welcome returns to Sadler’s Wells is Spanish experimental B-boy crew Iron Skulls Co’s Sinestesia, and the new generation of flamenco dancers dotdotdot dance with I come to my body as a question.

Contemporary dance is represented by Russell Maliphant Company with Still, performed by Dickson Mbi, and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance performs an extract from their reimagining of Petipa’s La Bayadère.


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