Choreographer: Botis Seva
Reviewer: Nicole Evans
Far From the Norm are becoming a regular opening slot on the Sadler’s Wells Waterfront stage, this year bringing their loosely ethnic-themed piece, Da Native, to kick off Friday morning proceedings.
Aiming to portray a group of nomads from different lands realising that the world is nothing without one another in it, we witness a mixture of friction and unification in movements throughout.
After entering the stage in full character, complete with rag-laden costumes and painted faces The Lion King cast would be proud of, the actors begin the piece inside a geometrically shaped cage structure. Weaving out one by one to a tribal beat, they stomp and shake their way around it to an eclectic mix of languages echoing through music.
It seems like it should impress more than it does, however, too many inclusions of incredibly slow-paced sections where the only performance involves the dancers gurning and looking around take away from the skills they all clearly have and we are left wanting much more by way of dance from them than we actually got.
Parts of it are pleasing, particularly the ability to remain in such bizarre personas, and it’s clear these guys have got it in them to really entertain a crowd, this production just isn’t the one to allow them to showcase it.
As the performance draws to a close there is the impression that nobody has understood a single bit of what they have just seen, although when reading up on its intended meaning after the fact, it turns out that it was points to the dancers for getting that across.
It can’t be said that Da Native disappoints but you just can’t shake the feeling that it tries a little too hard; coming across as a slightly too complex piece that is too slow in pace at times making it somewhat difficult to comprehend.
Talented dancers. Poor choreography.
Reviewed on 14 July 2017 | Image: Contributed