DanceLatitude FestivalReviewSouth East

LATITUDE 2016: National Youth Dance Company – In-Nocentes

Choreographer:Michael Keegan-Dolan
Venue: The Waterfront Stage
Reviewer: Nicole Evans

Arriving on stage shortly after The Richard Alston Dance Company, who have just won the audience over, The National Youth Dance Company have a lot to live up to while closing proceedings on The Waterfront Stage for Sadler’s Wells.

Performing a full-length version of their work, In-Nocentes – a piece exploring the instinctive ways in which young people can move and represent themselves, they arrive on stage looking fierce and ready to impress, and that they absolutely do.

It’s hard to write a review that will do this piece justice, as half of the charm was their ability to completely mesmerise the crowd, as we become beautifully lost in the performance before us, becoming completely immersed in the beauty that unfolds.

Starting with the 40 dancers seated, all standing individually in turn and then tapping out a rhythm with their hands and feet, then erupting into a delightful sea of outstanding unison with genres of all variety shining through, it is a faultless hour of stunningly progressive youth dance.

With 40 dancers on stage throughout, the levels of spatial awareness and use of every inch of the floor, despite being in such close proximity to one another, is a spectacle of its own. Each and every dancer is as captivating as the other yet all move as though they are one at times.
Breathtaking fluidity sees a Mexican wave of movement as dancers join the routines from all sides of the stage as the various troupes glide past them. Each group performing differing moves concurrently, and all weaving through each other as though they were invisible – yet uniting in rhythm to the haunting sounds of the recomposition of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons; an unlikely choice yet choreographed perfectly to and superbly technically interpreted.

A fitting end to a weekend of dance on The Waterfront Stage with Sadler’s Wells saving the best til last and going out with a bang.

The dancers of tomorrow, today, indeed.

Image: Jane Hobson


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The South East team is under the editorship of Nicole Craft. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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