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SIOBHAN DAVIES DANCE COMPANY.

SIOBHAN DAVIES DANCE COMPANY SADLER'S WELLS THEATRE LONDON, ENGLAND, UK SEPTEMBER 26, 1999 REVIEWED BY HELEN COOPER

Siobhan Davies's first full-length work created for the company in more than thirty years of making dances, Wild Air epitomizes her work and that of her company. One of the first students of the London Contemporary Dance School in the late sixties, Davies has been a prominent figure throughout the development of contemporary dance in Britain.

One element of this work that immediately set it apart from other modern dance today is that it allowed the audience to travel into the piece rather than presenting it to them. At the London premiere, I was invited by the dancers into their domain. At times quite insular, the movements also conveyed a sense of fun, moving seamlessly from statuesque poses to a small nudge or a lift of another dancer in the space.

The score, by South African composer and long-term Davies collaborator Kevin Volans, provided a catalyst for sound and movement to play cat-and-mouse with each other--running, chasing, softening into pauses of stillness and moments of silence. The first half echoed individualism, its somewhat fragmented state provoking questions of intention.

The set, designed by David Buckland, used moving holographic images of everyday objects--a chair, a ladder, a window--at times to enhance, at other times to be in total opposition to the movement. Sliding screens across the back of the stage opened and closed at seemingly random intervals, offering a doorway to another avenue to be explored.

The present Siobhan Davies Dance Company, five women and three men, displayed in a moment a singular group identity. Stunning moments between Deborah Saxon and Paul Old, interspersed through the second half, conveyed feelings of peace, turmoil, isolation, or solidarity--or a combination of these emotions. It is Davies's intrinsic way of working with intelligent dancers who want to be challenged and opened to new movement that allows the magnitude of creativity she enjoys in her work.
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Title Annotation:Review; Sadler Wells Theatre, London, England, UK
Author:COOPER, HELEN
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Dance Review
Date:Jan 1, 2000
Words:328
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