Reviewer: Nicole Evans
Having seen the superb array of talents National Youth Dance Company has had to offer a Latitude audience for the previous two years, expectations for their return are high.
This year bringing Tarantiseismic, created by guest Artistic Director Damien Jalet, the 40-strong company take to the Waterfront stage en-masse, completely dressed in white, and prepare for the piece to begin. The floor is fitted with a large mat adorned with endless patterns of colourful tape; the only item present resembling a set. Presumably being used as markers, the sheer volume of lines crossing over one another is already a good indication of the deftness needed by the dancers to execute slick transfers across such a limited space for their numbers.
Aiming to explore themes of melancholia, ritual, control and abandon, a variety of choreographed sections representing each unfolds before us. Although nowhere near as tight as the company have demonstrated they can be in previous years, with a few sloppy timing errors thrown in, they do make skilful use of the small area they have to work with and succeed in creating fluid ripples of movement using the advantage of their strength in numbers.
With every dancer getting an equal chance to give it everything they have got, it remains refreshing to see such a diverse group of 14-22 year-olds exhibiting such discipline in their field while working so well together as a single unit; with individual, elegant twists and synchronised leaps and turns displayed in unison throughout, and only two minor collisions noted.
More of a choreography fail than a fault of the dancers, a few of the earlier sections of the piece are a little repetitive and lose our attention somewhat. Gaining momentum and strength in the latter stages of proceedings, the ensemble reaches their peak just as the 35-minute performance ends and their high-energy, powerfully-poised efforts are just enough to have the crowd on their feet for the final bow.
As a stand-alone performance, National Youth Dance Company, once again, do not disappoint, however, Tarantiseismic just doesn’t quite step up to the bar compared to their previous efforts. Still well worth a watch.
Reviewed on 16 July 2017 | Image: Contributed
Latitude Festival runs from 13 – 16 July 2017 at Henham Park, Suffolk