Reviewed by Vaiva Seskeviciute
To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the award winning National Dance Company Wales presented a dynamic programme created by Stephen Petronio, Angelin Preljocaj and Eleesha Drennan. Performed by a team of 12 international dancers, three exhilarating compositions – Virtual Descent, Noces and Water Stories – were brought to the stage in Wales Millennium Centre on the 5th of November.
The first performance Virtual Descent presented a very dark future.There was no individualism, no freedom, no gender. Described as “warriors of hope”, dancers emotionally communicated the main idea: a constant fight for life. The act strongly developed symbolic base; black uniform represented social unity, sharp dance moves evoked association with marionettes and the only visual element used in the play – stairs – symbolised a fight for independence and a way to salvation.
Noces brought colours, chaos and turmoil. Accompanied by traditional Balkan music, the stage was transformed into a visually well-structured wedding venue. A strong scenic connection between singers and performers helped to render the spectacle of the wedding that the choreographer described as a “funeral ritual”. The bride here was a doll, a traditional attribute rather than a sensitive human being. As the performance developed, tension increases. The dance was not only about the wedding; it was also about the relationship between a woman and a man.
After tense and chaotic performances revealing problems of humanity, Water Stories was a shift to nature and harmony. Natural colours, rhythmic drums beats, unrestricted moves and tender choreography gave an emphasis on freedom. It was a celebration of nature communicated by harmonious, energetic dance.
National Dance Company Wales presented a well structured composition of three contemporary dance performances that had everything to succeed: dynamic choreography, a taste of mystery, emotional live music and, most importantly, passionate dancers who brought a very strong feeling to every single move.