Tag Archives: Sadlers Wells

Review Wild Card, Dan Daw, Sadlers Wells by Hannah Goslin

 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Over at Sadler’s Wells we were taken into a smaller studio to the side of the usual theatre. This venue was very welcoming and intimate which I thought was ideal for the dance come performance arts pieces.

Both pieces were conceived by Graham Adel noted for his work challenging the social norm  and focussing on people.

First half of the show was a piece called Gender F**k (er). Featuring one woman, Keren Rosenberg, the 50mins performance aimed to cross the barriers of gender. A relatively slow piece, Rosenberg transforms her body from masculine to famine throughout with astonishing movement and physical change. There are times where clothing or props are used to help create these different ideas but the transformations are fluid and at times mixed showing stereotyped differences but also highlighting realistic opinions of little difference .

Very adult in its content, it is quite raw and almost hypnotic as Rosenberg manages to fill the space with her movement.

The second half saw Dan Daw in On One Condition.  The set was a like a above view / blueprint version of his family home giving it anonymity but also taking away any emotional ties.  The piece shows his life in a snapshot with short spoken tales and movement to catchy music.

 Daw has a disability that affects his movement but uses this to create beautiful images and movement highlighting a key message in the piece about not letting things stop you in your dream and the ability for everyone to do anything.  It isn’t a hindrance but actually inspiration and used to its advantage.

He’s also very comical, not only poking fun at himself and at his disability but wider humour in satire of dance themes and genres.  What I loved so much about this piece was the sheer intelligence in the concept and creation but also the honesty.

Two very different pieces, it was interesting to have a mixture of concepts and the clever ways both Graham and Dan Daw create a narrative; sending out vital messages about today’s society.


Review Yamato, Peacock Theatre by Hannah Goslin

 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Japanese drumming seems like an odd production to have at a well renowned dance theatre. But bear with me – it is not just drumming.

My interest has always been grabbed by Asia, especially Japan. Last year I visited Tokyo and saw what we all think of in Japan – a mixture of tradition and unusual things. My very small and brief cross with Japanese drumming was at the Robot Cafe where giant drums played by smiling men and women in bright clothing came inches away from my face.

So my expectation was a little different – I expected something more traditional and more quaint I suppose. I was surprised, shocked and entertained like never before.

Yamato bring the essence of Japan – the curiosities, the tradition and the uniqueness. The performers throw their all into each performance; they smile, they have fun, they engage with us and play with us but there are times of what would seem like ritual and tradition.

They show the mixture of something so old with the way they play, the instruments and their movements – being very low squatted and grounded. But also they enjoy what they are doing, bouncing from one area to another, dancing to accompany the music but also doing comedic moves that everyone relates to and so it then makes sense that this is at a dance theatre.

What I found intriguing is the mix of performers. Both men and women played the same instruments – there was little sexism in what they wore, what they were capable of and it felt like a very equal participation-something much of the British theatrical scene could learn from!

While its evident their English is very small, we engage with them in universal movements and find comedy in actions rather than words. We do not feel so far apart from their culture as we may anticipate.

Yamato is heaps of fun and extraordinary – as a drummer I found their skills astonishing but even a novice would do so. They are so perfected and fantastic, it would be hard to attend and not to come away smiling.