National Dance Company Wales – Profundis & The Green House
Friday 28th April 2017
After the huge success of Northern Ballet’s Casanova, the week would continue with more joyous dance, this time from National Dance Company Wales. Having seen a rehearsal for The Green House a few months prior, I knew. this would be special and it certainly held up as such.
Choreographed by Roy Assaf, Profundis is a miniature treat. It began in an incredibly intimate state: a teasing woman, who alerts the audience with her sexuality. She goes only so far to reveal part of herself, shortly leaving in a calm manner. From this heightened femininity, to an array of men invading the space and displaying feats of physicality and strength.
This lead into the bulk of the dance piece, a joyous improvised tableau featuring 9 dancers. Each of them informed us that “it’s not about” and them displaying a balletic pose, summing up the character, object or animal they spoke of. So much was spoken of “not about”, one wondering what it “was about”. This had charm and some funny moments. There was a child like element of play here and the dancers have never looked so youthful. Ending with a fragment of one Leonard Bernstein famous lectures about music, the dancers reacted and distilled his statements. A pleasant work which was a nice appetiser to the evening.
Following on from Profundis, was The Green House. Choreographed by Caroline Finn, this work has inspired by the idea of pruning, though this isn’t always apparent throughout the 45 minute duration. It can be perceived as an asylum, live on television whose patients only known therapy is dance. At times a Lynchian dream and in other moments a sweeping feat of movement, the work has an powerful effect on the audience.
There are several highlights of note. A personal favourite was two dancers slowly waltzing as the lady sang a heartfelt rendition of You Are My Sunshine, on an old timey microphone, as another dancer watches above the set. Nothing is more melancholic than hearing that song they played on a music box. When the company came together for a sensational dance number towards the end the mood was climatic. You can get lost in the piece, as there were many transgressive moments and many questions raised as to what the element of pruning truly is.
A real, surreal treat.
Profundis: 4 stars
The Green House: 5 stars
Weeping Tudor Productions returns with their next project: Jamais vu [Brexit means Brexit]. Come join us at the Wales Millennium Centre on Wednesday 31st May as we musically trigger Article 50. Expect flashes of Gertrude Stein, John Cage, Steve Reich, Luigi Nono, poetry, performance art and the joy that is Theresa May. Don’t be left behind. Tickets available soon.
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