REVIEW | Dance: Sampled | IDFB


To celebrate International Dance Festival Birmingham, the Birmingham Hippodrome present a collective performance of different samples of dance.

Opening the show is Wayne McGregor’s company performing Outlier, a performance that inventively uses the dynamic sounds of the violin to echo in the choreography. The performance itself creates a lot of imagery through partner work, each partner shadow each other with a sense of fluency. Every movement is striking yet natural, and the relationships within the performance are remarkably conveyed through the dancer’s characterisation that is engulfed in their movement.

The production then samples a section of dance from Vidya Patel who performs Basant, a type of northern Indian classical dance. She manages to solely fill the stage and absorb the audience in her exotic movement. Set to what is described as Raga music, which is styled on different times of the day and seasons, Patel creates a cultural experience through her solo that is utterly hypnotic. Through a sequence of intricate footwork, pirouettes and detailed choreography, Patel remains poised in her expression as her body is moving rapidly and exploring the music.

German Cornejo and Gisela Galeassi then take to the stage to perform the first of two tango duets. Their first performance titled A Los Amigos has power, the chemistry between the two dancers is undeniable as each movement oozes sensuality. This is highlighted in their second performance SuSu, a piece inspired by Romeo and Juliet. It’s a lyrical duet that conveys forbidden love through compelling movement. The spectacular performance had the audience last night literally gasping aloud at the unbelievable lifts in the duet which are performed so effortlessly.

To end the first act is the beautiful balcony pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet by Birmingham Royal Ballet. I was lucky enough to see Kenneth Macmillan’s Romeo and Juliet earlier this year, this snippet performance from the show is performed exquisitely. Bursting with passion, it is an encapsulating performance interjected with raw emotion. Birmingham Royal Ballet’s precision never ceases to amaze me and this performance is utterly mesmerising.

The second act opens with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s critically acclaimed duet Faun, an intriguing yet completely engaging performance. The duet is based on Vaslav Nijiniiisky’s famous ballet, L’apres-midi d’un faune. It’s a poetic piece, both dancer’s ability to move as one in such a fluid way is entrancing, their contemporary performance is both choreographed and performed impeccably.

The last sample of dance comes from hip hop group Pokemon Crew who perform a piece titled Hashtag. It’s an upbeat finale to the show with elements of humour which are portrayed through the dancer’s expressions. As they react with one another, their performance appears magnetic in the way they connect through dance. A particularly engaging moment being the duet between two dancers, set to a Spanish guitar track, the dance mixes traditional styles with hip hop choreography and their performance is electric.

Dance: Sampled is an excellent production that brings together a stunning selection of local and international dance. On at the Birmingham Hippodrome until the 18th of May, tickets can be found here.

All information for International Dance Birmingham can be found on their website.

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