Review: In The Dust, Grand Theatre, Blackpool.
Fractured stop/start clips of national anthems and the assassin-like menace of a starter’s gun might not be everyone’s idea of how to “celebrate” the industry that has become the Olympic Games but there’s unlikely to be a more powerful evocation of the physicality and competitiveness of the international event to be seen on stage this year.
Founded in 1999 by artistic director Tamsin Fitzgerald, 2Faced Dance Company has become one of the country’s leading all male urban contemporary dance ensembles.
All right, it’s not an overpopulated choreographic genre but this three-part Blackpool debut programme couldn’t fail to impress with its fusion of sheer athleticism and contemporary and break dance influences.
With music by Shackleton and choreography by Tom Dale the company’s opening piece, Subterrania set out its stall perfectly. Combining Afro rhythms and an electronica soundtrack it was part street dance, part martial arts – anarchically tribal yet perfectly controlled.
Politicking Oath was not without its humour – the cut-throat world of competitive sports given a smirk on its face by the Saudi Arabian breakdance team literally thrown into the deep end to compete as synchronised swimmers.
But it was 7.0 which proved to be the piece de resistance. Set to Alex Baranowski’s neo-classical score, the work was inspired by choreographer Tamsin Fitzgerald’s visit to Haiti a year after the country’s devastating earthquake. Shrouded in the dust of the programme’s title it is a brutally physical portrait in dance of society’s breakdown.
The programme also featured a starting “taster” from members of the Ludus Youth Dance Company who had just a day and half to prepare their own impressive short work which was deservedly rapturously received by the re-assuringly comfortably sized audience.