Desert @ The Cockpit Theatre Review

‘When the sand moves in the Desert and nobody’s there to hear it-does it make a sound?’ is a question asked by Spiralarts Dance Theatre Company in their 40 minute dance piece, exploring the many aspects of a seemingly quiet landscape. Serving as a projection situated upstage, this question acts as an underlying motif in this montage of choreographed sequences…

desert-flyer (1)

The fast paced moving world of Social Media versus the ever shifting and evolving landscape of the Desert is the main theme throughout the piece, as a lone traveller, symbolic of the technological world in which we live finds that he has to adapt to the unpredictable temperament of the Desert. Characterised by David Home, the traveller steadily drags along a net comprising of computer equipment and slowly walks around the stage, watching the performance from the outside as if he were an audience member. This however was distracting, as there were points throughout the performance where I wasn’t sure where I was meant to place focus. Aspects of the performance gained inspiration from iconic images of the Desert, placing emphasis on the hot and dry landscape we associate with the landscape. The Rolling Sands routine choreographed by the cast was one of the highlights. Rolling steadily in unison on a diagonal, the cast created beautiful imagery of sand shifting, in the form of contemporary dance. Another stand out moment for me was the routine titled Wind, choreographed and danced by three members of the cast. Depicting the extreme weather conditions, the cast encircled one another, creating frantic movements and shapes with their long sleeves, similar to that of water sleeves in Chinese dance. A performance of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Kubla Khan served as a dramatic monologue, however I would have liked to have seen the cast create imagery whilst it was being performed as not much was happening on stage. There were aspects of the performance which focused on the wildlife of the Desert, which featured hints of Flamenco, Capoeira and Martial arts to depict the day to day processes of the animal world. There were strong moments in the piece that I would have liked to have seen more of, but I just felt the dynamics of the piece stayed the same throughout, therefore I give Desert a 3/5.

Performed by Spiralarts Dance Theatre

Performance on 18th August 2013, 4:30pm

For more information on Spiralarts Dance Theatre, click here…

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