Reviewer: Robin Winters
Arriving on stage and beginning to dance unannounced, Humanhood immediately both throw us completely and draw us straight into their mesmerising 15-minutes of contemporary infusions. The first of a dance double bill and part of Sadler’s Wells’ weekend offerings, Humanhood sees a pair of dancers intertwine in a short yet faced paced, perfectly controlled display of utter brilliance; seeming to never take their eyes of each other yet staring straight into your soul with their movement.
With artistic directions from Rudi Cole and Julia Robert Pares, entrancing music and a beautiful portrayal of two nomads meeting in a vortex with a raw, animalistic feel, this piece well and truly sets the bar high for the ever-popular Latitude 2018 Waterfront.
Second up is Volume 1 by Extended Play, the new company from Jamaal Burkmar. An odd, very static, start is initially concerning, particularly when the trio of dancers seem to have some synchronisation issues when the piece properly begins, but they soon find their feet and set out to impress overall.
Volume 1 is billed as bringing together four dancers and four songs and aligning them as one, so it is a bit of a surprise to only see three on the stage. If the knowledge that Jamaal Burkmar should have performed but couldn’t due to injury wasn’t there beforehand, however, the audience would be completely fooled into thinking this was designed as a trio and the dancers rework it impeccably with no feeling of anything missing. Variable in pace but packed full of energy, the company move stylishly and slickly around the stage, ceasing to even slightly falter by the end and attacking every leap, twist and turn with perfectly poised attitude and attention to the very finest of detail.
Finishing as it started, with another slightly bemusing motionless period, the ending might baffle but the overall product is impressive.