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Laban Degree Show

at Bonnie Bird Theatre, Deptford 29 June 2006


An end-of-year opportunity to see some brand new modern dance work and what the next generation of artists are producing now; a sequence of disparate and unconnected pieces, not perhaps too well thought out as a whole in terms of an audience show.


There was a good deal of athleticism, with some impressive female lifts. But the last two items were (deliberately) painfully slow, and a reminder of Bock & Vicenzi's endurance test, though mercifully not at great length (one of them stays in the mind, an immobile character who very slowly opened his mouth wide, then equally slowly closed it; plenty of time to note his braces fixed to one side...).


Another had a couple of dejected girls who, after quite a long wait doing nothing, gradually sunk down onto the stage... I suspect the theorising behind these would prove more interesting than the realisation on stage. My wife liked Vanessa Abreu's solo creation, but the green figure in near darkness at the back of the stage played such peculiar tricks on my eyes that I couldn't watch it; not Abreu's fault!


Best of the staged items was the first, Hannah Buhler's He flowers and trembles, with a splendid tree (probably Tatiana Capozzoli ?) created by "Anja", and a supporting quartet demonstrating "The theory of oppositional forces where hope and fear become one".


A bonus of great distinction was a "structured improvisation" in one of the studios, between two gifted dancers who "refined our senses and collaborative skills to create a common movement language". It was tender and moving, helped by the gentle light which flowed in through the shades of green glass; admired from outside, the architect's colour scheme has its effect in the working spaces too. Angela Blumberg and Magali Cunz's Poem warrants further development (only a little) to make a notable item for the main Bonnie Bird stage.



© Peter Grahame Woolf