12-15 Aug, 1430 (1530) @ Venue 150, EICC
By Danielle Farrow
Christine Jowers’ love of the development of modern dance gives us the world premiere Tribute, an introduction to modern dance’s “mothers” which includes projected images and recorded information. These segments precede pieces either created by pioneers (and reconstructed) or created in tribute to them. The connection to classical ballet, which these choreographers were reacting against, is evident in the technical demands of the dances and Jowers offers a certain classical serenity in performance. Her containment, however, puts a lid on the energy throughout and keeps pace fairly similar, despite variation in choreography, which is particularly different in the final piece, Voice of Light, choreographed for Jowers herself and inspired by Isadora Duncan. Duncan’s Revolution, though – also performed as part of a previous showcase – did find Jowers embodying passion more fully than when seen before.
Tribute is interesting and, indeed, lyrical, and is worth seeing to decide for yourself how you feel about Christine Jowers’ style.
Michael Mao has a great feel for drama and music and shows this in Lorca Libre, set to songs by poet and playwright Frederico Garcia Lorca and delivering tragedy, passion and celebration. Possibly this world premiere is a little under-rehearsed, given a certain lack of precise connection among the dancers at times, but Mao‘s storytelling flair and musicality is still very much in evidence. His second piece, China Moves (Phase I) saw the women move together more fully and again used his talent for creating skillful patterns deeply rooted in the music. Though the latter as a whole is less lyrical than the title of this Booking Dance production suggests, the piece is full of character, some of which might be described as ‘lyrically athletic‘.
The Booking Dance Festival continues with another two presentations, including more from Michael Mao, and shifts style in the upcoming Rock It! and Athletic, and the festival’s showing so far suggests further treats are in store and worth seeking out.