The title, “Genesis: Germination, Formation, Transformation”, portends one of those life-cycle dances that tries to say something expansive about the universe. Sure enough, Robert Eugene lopes and squats in African style, singing about his spirit sister in the mountains and the rain in the plain. Three pod creatures twitch on the ground like jumping beans. They hatch into three slinky women who do some groovy formation dancing to tropical jazz. So, life is a cabaret. The smiley modern dance style is mildly inflected with flamenco (stamps! flicks!) or rhythmic gymnastics (that decorative thing with ribbons) – and it all trips along with the music as nicely and as pointlessly as a backing group without a lead singer.
Her boyfriend wants a Jordan in the bedroom and a Nigella in the kitchen. She dreams of, well, a dreamboat.
Bridget Jones’ dance diary might look something like Isobel Cohen’s The Great Escape. She’s not a size 8 with Naomi Campbell legs. Her boyfriend wants a Jordan in the bedroom and a Nigella in the kitchen. She dreams of, well, a dreamboat. Thankfully, Cohen doesn’t simply mimic the voiceover, but stitches it into a flappy, rolling solo that pushes her to the edge of reason: she collapses fitfully to the floor, her limbs tangle her up, she gamely flicks us a feeble goodbye kiss. Most intriguing (and frankly puzzling) is the Tom Waits song that begins to intrude on this middle-class English gal – its slavering saxophone and whiskey-soaked croaks about guns and hookers are clearly coming from another world altogether.
Just Don’t, by Sebastian Rex Dance Company, is about four couples who don’t touch each other. Opening and closing with a little music-box waltz, choreographer Ronnie Shapiro sets out a clear sequence, each duo highlighted in turn and then backed up by the group. There’s the pair who swivel politely out of arm’s reach, the scary twins who cough and retch continuously, the weird nuns who pray and screech, and the out-of-synch adults who reach and shuffle-bum like babies. Unusually, Shapiro is attentive to composition and responsive to his varied musical choices – shame we don’t really learn much about his characters.