"Intriguing spectacle of bodies' scope."
by Patrick Cash for remotegoat on 28/03/10

Contemporary dance can often divide its spectators into a distinct dichotomy of those who appreciate its futuristic innovations in movement and those who are left rather cold by a seemingly bizarre set of surreal kinetics displayed upon the stage. However, what the Cloud Dance Festival's Trouble & Desire successfully did at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington was to create a vibrant, original and varied programme of as many strikingly unique dance acts as possible, so that there appeared to be something for every individual member of the audience. Whether you were a dance aficionado of twenty years' experience or simply a grudging father dragged along by his ballet-obsessed daughter, the sheer energy and piquant spice of such a show couldn't fail to enthrall one at some point.


Uniting choreographers from over eleven different countries and drawing pools of talent from all over the United Kingdom, this production raced through its polymorphous tones and images, from Vanessa Abreu's intriguing violin-accompanied opening piece to Aya Jane Saotome's disturbingly surreal Shifting Pulse. All the dances were accompanied by a wide range of music, from the artists' own compositions to recognizable tunes of recent years from the likes of Adele and Massive Attack. There were some awkward technical mishaps at the start of the performance, to the extent of one dancer walking off in the middle of her set, but after a brief interlude these were sorted out so that the remaining time flowed in a streamlined fashion.

The fact that each company's period upon the stage lasted no more than fifteen minutes as most meant that even if the spectator was slightly disillusioned by a particular show of physical exertion they could rest easy with the knowledge that it would change soon. And there was at least one act on the night which bonded the audience together in unanimous whooping cheers after their fantastically involving synchronisation: Kinisi Dance Company's Copy…right? majestically drew their spectators into their inventive devised piece via the dancers' grace and elegance upon the stage and the vibrantly visual impressions incorporated into their work.

Overall this was an exciting and worthwhile effort in showcasing fringe dance from an assortment of backgrounds which looks set to engage both those who live and breathe the medium and those who've still yet to discover its wonders.

Review published on http://www.remotegoat.co.uk/review_view.php?uid=5078