Three works by Nacho Duato is lovely.Really really lovely. I took a friend who is admittedly not into the contemporary dance thing, and there is little better to take someone like her to. The dancers are just phenomenal, they move with strength and precision and such liquid grace- it made me more than a little jealous.
However his work is, same-y, for wont of a better one. The three works are vague and similar in movement style, but when his signature is creating glorious long liquid phrases of movement with witty and whimsical musicality, I really didn’t mind that they were similar.  He has a nack for picking gorgeous music, and a talent for arranging the space with bodies, light, costume and set brilliantly.  In short, a breathtakingly beautiful night of dance – for me, it does what dance does best, convey something visceral, something one can’t express it in words.

‘Alas’ also by Duato was a huge disappointment after the triple bill.  The elements were there – Nacho’s choreography, Thomas Pandur as director and Wim Wenders gorgeous film, “wings of desire’ as the text. But somehow in bringing it together, it sucked.  Once you put dramaturgy with dance, you had better damn well make sure its good. This was overblown and self indulgent.  The images were beautiful, the dancers exquisite, but the movement and musicality lost out, the digital projections were woefully bad, the use of voice and text basic and uninspired.  Nacho himself played the angel Demiel, and it was bad.  He can’t move as well as he  used to, and in stark relief against his dancers its painfully obvious, as my less kind friend said, he had no acting ability, nor personal charisma. It seemed largely a vehicle for him to take off his shirt, look distractingly handsome and writhe a bit.  The end image, while lovely in conception (the dancers climbing up a column to heaven, the floor flooded with the angel writing on the ground splashing) was hilariously bad as Nacho splooshed around in the flooded stage, periodically splashing meaningfully as he did 1st year contemporary dance floor work.
Kudos to him for trying something different, but very disappointing after the sublime beauty of the triple bill

Construct by Tanja Liedtke.
It was superb. Clever, witty, fun, accessible.
The dancers are just superhuman, capable of feats of control, daring beyond comprehension all with a cheeky insouciance.
Great use of props, and staging. See it.
It was incredibly difficult to watch, as I had worked on one of the precursor pieces to it, and could still hear Tanja giving us the task (and incidently getting cranky as I wasn’tn doing it very well)(and now I see how its supposed to be done, totally fair enough), but a really special work.
The team which pulled it together are truly astonishing. And lovely to boot.

Mortal Engine – Chunky Move
Unbelievably irritating. It was like watching the windows media screen saver for an hour.   It lost the charm and  connection that ‘Glow’ their previous work had.  I didn’t feel any connection to the ‘narrative’ or the dancers – it was all engine, with little of the ‘mortal’.
I was so totally distracted by the technology – which as an artist who is working on similar things, I know is not all that super mega difficult, that I lost interest in the work as a performance and spent my time rebuilding their effects on my platform.
It really looked like a first stage work – where they found cool effects and made up dances to go with it, incidentally.

I think there is some potential in dance and technology but it is elusive and difficult.

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