Monday, 22 November 2010

Too far? Wayne McGregor, Random Dance

Wayne McGregor - the most celebrated choreographer working in the world today - could be running out of ideas. In his new work, Far, which premiered last Wednesday at Sadler's Wells - his supremely talented Random Dance performers contorted their lithe bodies into the choreographic maestro's usual eye-watering, asymetrical shapes. Narrative-free, abstract and compelling, the man's aesthetic is to deconstruct the pleasing lines we associate with ballet to uncover what lies beneath. The answer - compelling oddity. Afterall, whatever these dancers do to their bodies as they are young, supremely talented and hot. Ugliness isn't part of their DNA.

Far is presented on a bare stage apart from a large white rectangular light installation by Lucy Carter for rAndom International.The piece's pinned lights sweep, high-light and scintillate from crazed disco effect what looked like running water. It is brilliant and mesmerizing. And it is also distracting. I found myself watching its lucid pyrotechnics more than I was the dancers in the foreground. This might be forgiveable in an art gallery where this work could be seen as an art piece rather than a dance performance. McGregor's collaborations are fascinating, he's worked with Juilan Opie, Joby Talbot and the White Stripes in past productions, especially 2006's Chroma - his most popular and greatest work to date.

With this piece, McGregor takes his inspiration from Roy Porter's posthumous book, Flesh In the Age of Reason on which the work draws it's name (an acronym) and inspiration. But who can tell?


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Kim said...

Well said. Entertaining, intense but really quite exhausting to watch. I can only imagine how the poor dancers felt after!