Review: ★★★★ WORKS, Sadlers Wells

Review: ★★★★ WORKS, Sadlers Wells

WORKS is a dance piece choreographed by Emanuel Gat, adapted from a collaboration between Emanuel Gat Dance and Le Ballet de Lyon. It is split into small sections of trios, duets and other small groups but it flows as one continuous piece.

It starts without music, with the dancers just taking their cues from each other. Their timing is impeccable, they are perfectly synchronised even without a method of keeping time. There is so much happening on the stage at the same time that it is impossible to focus on all of the dancers individually.

There is no obvious intention or theme behind the performance, there is no link between the different pieces of music used, the combination of dancers for the smaller groups, or the costumes that the dancers wear. They explore different styles and combinations, some more traditional and some very modern and experimental. There is a definite focus on the role of the individual in this piece. There are very few instances of a single choreographic choice for all of the performers, and there are almost always at least two different sequences happening at the same time. Despite this, it is very clear that there is complete cohesion within the group, and a level of implicit communication that keeps them all coordinated.

Some parts are hard to understand from the audience perspective. For example, the dancers call out numbers to each other at various points, which seems to trigger changes in the choreography. There is also a sequence where they talk over the dancing, stringing together seemingly random phrases that don’t have a clear link to their movements.

Every dancer stands out from the group, they all add a unique flourish to their movements. The precision and technique is obvious in every aspect of what they do but the most striking aspect is the communication. This is not just a learned piece, it is the demonstration of a complex understanding between the members of the group.

 

Emma Grimsley

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