Sun Matinee: Londonist


Cloud Dance Festival: Parade by Lindsey Clarke


It didn't bode well that the lighting desk died just minutes before the Sunday matinee was about to begin at the People Show Studios but fortunately for Cloud Dance Festival and its sold out audience, a genius was on hand to get everything back in working order just 15 minutes over schedule. And from an inauspicious start sprang a medley of enthralling, surprising, moving and intriguing dance.

Slanjayvah Dance's sensuous tango influenced duet offers an feast of toned flesh intricately synchronised by Jenni Wren and Phil Singer. Their partnering with blindfolds is inventive, the potential hazards of such complex partner work laid - almost literally - bare. Next up, Nexus Dance's stunning solo: 'Of Nothing' is all too short. The half deranged, long and lean male dancer gracefully stumbles across the stage, one minute his body fully outstretched, the next crumpled in on itself, every sinew strained and visible. We'd love to see more of this.

Hagit Yakira's duet 2B probes questions of being through an abstract duet featuring herself and Takeshi Matsumoto. From the opening gambit, a game about blinking, to the last gasp, holding each others' noses as they writhe about holding their breath this is a humourous and human piece of involving dance theatre. Their text enhances the unique dance style and the two personalities shine through endearingly. Their spot of funky disco dancing is especially jubilant.

After an interval where we're urged to give all our money to Cloud Dance (we still can't believe they receive no funding and cover all costs through ticket sales) we return to a frenetic take on rush hour from Pair Dance, both strong and relentless. And an odd but bewitching finale, a work in progress from Sophia Hurdley, interprets the story of Maria Callas's doomed love affair with Aristotle Onassis through dance. An intensely emotional, yet subtle performance from Hurdley is spellbinding, articulating the pain of love lost and a career sacrificed, played out to a haunting operatic soundtrack. But this West End style extract seems somewhat out of place at the end of an otherwise eclectic and strong contemporary dance bill.

We came with no expectations but left uplifted, wanting more and eager to see where Cloud Dance Festival goes next.


Original review posted on

Sunday: Rebecca Robinson

The Open Your Eyes Cloud Dance Festival was a cornucopia of choreographic experimentation and dance innovation – a showcase of dedicated artists growing in their already acclaimed accomplishments.

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Friday: Michelle Harris

Fast becoming a regular event in the dance calendar, Cloud Dance Festival returned to Jacksons Lane theatre in July with its latest programme of works, Open Your Eyes.

Saturday: Anna Crofts

A midsummer deluge puts no dampener on the opening of Cloud Dance Festival. Jacksons Lane hosts the emerging festival, celebrating contemporary dance in all its variety. From street styles to physical theatre, new, emerging and established companies are given the opportunity to showcase their current work. Jacksons Lane Theatre, a Gothic church conversion, seems a perfect venue for a dance festival, with its intimate theatre space and good value Pimm’s (which came as a surprise to a South Londoner!).

It is always interesting to go to such events alone, as it is an excellent excuse to people watch. Cloud Dance Festival is in its third year and yet, already, it is drawing a wide audience of all ages and backgrounds. I had good expectations, then, of what would come next…

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