Thursday, 7 October 2010

Through a Mirror, Darkly. Vertical Road, Akram Khan Co. Sadler's Wells 6th October 10

These are the three things I learnt from Vertical Road, Akram Khan's newest dance work that premiered a couple of months back and was seen in London for the first time last week -

Dusting crouching dancers in chalky dust or talc makes for a vivid opening tableau, when they start moving the dust flies off them like smoke (see picture).

Tai chi is compellingly inventive source material for dance.

Loud, repetitive drum beats become annoying after about three minutes.

Oh, and make this a fourth – either tell a story, or don’t. Opaque suggestions of narrative are frustrating – like a fuzzy screen that occasionally coalesces into a movie. Make it both and annoy the hell out of your audience.

Khan didn’t perform which was a shame as he - spellbindingly - is both feral and controlled like a leaping tiger. Although it was hardly making do to watch Salah el Brogy as his central male figure – in equal parts, yogi and Christ. And sex god.

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