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ZfinMalta Dance Ensemble at Sadler’s Wells – Review

Zfin Malta in 'Kick the Bucket' by Ivan Perez. Photo by Emma Tranter
Zfin Malta in ‘Kick the Bucket’ by Ivan Perez. Photo by Emma Tranter

A show of two halves the ZfinMalta Dance Ensemble, gives the impression of work-shopping its longer 50-minute piece in front of a paying Sadler’s Wells audience. While this piece does successfully communicate alienation it appears to have been forgotten connection and uplift which are required to carry an audience along. There are dancers of fine potential in the company but the work needs chopping right down to be tolerable. And lose the props, especially the black noses. With the audience in such close proximity as in the Lilian Baylis auditorium expression does matter.

The second ‘half’ of the show Kick the Bucket, at only twenty minutes long, was much more appealing but it’s necessary to read the insert slip in the programme to understand it, which should not be necessary. It’s about the battle between the different parts of the self, about what is weak and what is strong and how they interact and support one another. Beautifully danced by Gabin Corredor and Marvin Khoo, the artistic director of the company, it was choreographed by Ivan Perez Aviles. I liked this very much but the longer, first part was such it’s hard to recommend the evening as a satisfying whole

It was a brave decision on part of the Sadler’s Wells artistic team to give this as yet very young company a slot, even in its more experimental house. There is talent here and the suggestion of future promise, just not yet fulfilled.

2.5 gold stars

Review by Marian Kennedy

The national company of Malta comes to the UK for the first time. Led by international dance artist Mavin Khoo, who has collaborated and danced with choreographers including Akram Khan and Wayne McGregor, they seduce us with Kick the Bucket, an intricate duet by choreographer Iván Pérez, and then ask us who we are in the theatrical satire Home.

Lilian Baylis Studio
Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R
9 & 10 Feb 2017

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