5:00pm, Thu 16 Mar 2000
Short Review: Organic
The second of the dance pieces from Rosas (the first being Fase), Drumming has to be one of the most tightly choreographed, yet at the same time, most casual looking dance performances I have ever seen. And in no way is this a bad thing.
Drumming is set to a 58-minute piece of music (again by Steve Reich) which, strangely enough, is entirely percussive. Twelve dancers onstage intermittently prowl the outskirts of the stage, then leap into the fray – and I mean leap. Like anxious gazelles, the cast run, leap, twist and turn across the stage at a furious pace.
There’s a good reason why my One-Word-Review is “organic”; when involved in the action, the dancers don’t all move in mass unison, but instead in small groups or flocks of only two or three. Where my previous gazelle metaphor is pretty close to the mark, on more than one occasion did I think that there were flocks of birds skipping across the stage. The sheer beauty of the work, however, is in the choreography – different groups running (skipping, flying) at full speed intersected with others, whilst more solitary participants bubbled around in the background like some human game of Life.
In short – brilliant! It’ll be a long time before I can get the image of all those fast-moving, swarming dancers from my mind. Incredible stuff!!