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4x4: Ephemeral Architectures; ERYL CRUMP REVIEW.

Pontio Arts & Innovation Centre, Bangor AT first glance combining ballet and juggling seems a strange thing to watch on a stage.

But remarkably the production of 4x4: Ephemeral Architectures by Gandini Juggling works well.

From the moment the four dancers and four jugglers emerge onto the Pontio Arts & Innovation Centre stage they enthralled the audience during the hour long performance.

It becomes obvious during the performance that both juggling and ballet have similarities.

Neither are easy and require a high level of concentration and co-oridination and in order to work together all the performers needed to show precise timing.

As the four dancers combine intricate classical and contemporary choreography the four jugglers juggle balls, clubs and rings in complicated patterns.

At times there are crossovers and although these are short and relatively simple it is in keeping with the production.

They interact in all ways possible through acrobatics, contact dance, working together in pairs, trios and larger combinations using the stage at its widest.

But the show is not all dance and juggling either. There are spoken words and phrases from both groups of ballet dancers and jugglers. Centring mostly on the colours green, yellow and white all eight performers delighted the audience by using the Welsh words for these colours at times.

The show is punctuated with playful interludes which had the audience chuckling. For me these moments provided a welcome respite from the intensity of the performance.

4x4: Ephemeral Architectures is directed by renowned juggler Sean Gandini, choreographed by the Royal Ballet's Ludovic Ondiviela and set to original music by Nimrod Borenstein.

Lighting and special effects complement the imagery and narrative and the opening sequence where smoke and lights are used to good effect was particularly stunning.

It was Gandini Juggling's second visit to Pontio - last time they had to travel to Neuadd Ogwen, Bethesda as the main complex was not yet complete - and that production, Smashed, was in complete contrast to this one.

I look forward to a return visit from this innovative company.

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Jan 23, 2016
Words:337
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