Review NDCWales, One Another/Law yn Llaw Sherman Theatre by James Ellis

Credit Mark Douet

 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

One Another. It’s a phrase we need right now. It’s a phrase used quite cleverly for National Dance Company of Wales’ latest show of trio dance pieces.

Wild Thoughts by Andrea Costanzo Martini began with a repeated phase for most of the dancers. A drone note loitered the space, as their daring physicality mimic the same poses started as a daring opening. Leading into a pumped up take on Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, the ensemble gave us an education of their bodies, in lighting speed including slapping, gurgling and shouting. It was the energy that came of each dancer that really stood out here, some humour as well also relaxed this Cardiff audience. It put a smile on my face and made me glad to finally be back at the Sherman.

A brief respite would herald the next piece: Codi by Anthony Matsena. On a much more series tone, we wallowed in the total misery that is the mining profession. Whilst Wales is famous for local pits, the universal theme rings true of manipulating the working man and the pillaging of natural resources. If slightly too long, the dance does have some raw moments filled with fury and an unflinching desperation. Dancers are clad in orange jumpsuits, the stage is darkly lit evoking the atmosphere, though more claustrophobia could have been evoked. The lamps on their helmets could have been used for even more of a nice touch. The somber mood was jarring in the three works, though there is a spark here…

From Caroline Finn came Ludo. Quite possibly the finest thing on the stage this night, an apparition of Kafka and Ingmar Bergman. Finn’s usually expressionistic and witty moves are never far away. Benches, a detachable table and a gramophone horn used to great comic effect make up the stage in an often dizzying display. The dancers really come into their own, facial expressions also being of the utmost importance in this fun filled, child like spectacle. The choice of musical selections also remand powerful including Schumann and Meredith Monk.

Truly a charming evening, I’m glad to see our National Dance Company out and about once more.

One Another/Law yn Llaw continues on tour to Huddersfield, Mold & Bangor.

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