Review: Phoenix Dance Theatre

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West Yorkshire Playhouse

David Mamet said the secret to good drama is making the audience ask “what happens next?”. Richard Alston’s programme opener for Phoenix, his first work for the company, fulfilled this task in spades. His piece, All Alight, set to the music of Ravel (although it could be mistaken for a Philip Glass composition) is light on its feet and beautiful. Alston’s piece is one of four that make up the programme for Particle Velocity and while it sits in the programme it does seem a little odd in it. The rest gel more readily.

Leeds choreographer Douglas Thorpe goes to some intense and dangerous places in his exploration of a relationship Tender Crazy Love. It lays the passion of a sometimes destructive partnership bare on the stage in a blistering duet.

Sharon Watson’s Repetition of Change is impressively theatrical, but perhaps suffers from being overburdened with ideas. That it is a work that has been subjected to intellectual rigour is obvious and it has heart and grace, but it might have benefitted from more of the raw emotion seen in Thorpe’s piece.

The moment that Particle Velocity transcends to become something virtually spiritual is in Jose Agudo’s Ki. Danced by Josh Wille, it is truly one of the most mesmerising, visceral pieces of dance you might ever hope to see. To Feb 9.