Pulse unveils a rising star
Described in the Pulse programme as uncompromising, edgy and exhilarating, Rise - by Laban graduate Tom Dale - was all those things and more.
Rise; New Wolsey Theatre; Pulse Festival; June 6
Described in the Pulse programme as uncompromising, edgy and exhilarating, Rise - by Laban graduate Tom Dale - was all those things and more. Inspired by the claustrophobic, cabin fevered nature of society where human behaviour is shaped and moulded by institutions, this inventive, mesmerising piece of contemporary dance was a joy to behold. Five young dancers, three male and two female, all had their roles to play both singly and collectively. Their athleticism was extraordinary, as was the preciseness of the unique and unusual movements, all designed to convey the theme of feeling 'boxed in' (especially the man who began the piece - at times I wondered, was he a human or a robot?).
The set was simple: two scaffolding structures made into cubes (through and around which the dancers twisted, turned and leapt), a lampshade hung high from the ceiling, and the rest created with directional lighting. The theme was made clear right from the word go, with the opening scene seeing three dancers sat in meditative poses, staring into white squares of light projected onto the floor in front of them - starring into the enclosed nature of their realities, perhaps.
Costumes were kept simple: urban jungle-style tracksuit pants and hooded tops, with tight T-shirts underneath, continuing the urban theme.
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The music - by Jow_FishY was a montage of electronica and breakbeat, with an unexpected section of uplifting reggae thrown in close to the end - during which the dancers performed almost capoeira-type moves - which really added life to the piece and contrasted well with the other, more gritty sections.
Not a moment passed without another inventive series of movements, or ways the dancers interacted with one another.
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Robotic, hypnotic, electronic - I was totally transfixed by this masterpiece of modern dance. Tom Dale is certainly a name to watch for the future, and, in my opinion, already up there with the likes of more well known companies in terms of professionalism and inventiveness. Rise was certainly an apt name, as this rising star choreographer and his talented company are set to go far.