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Aishwarya Raut What About The Rain?

Hannah Waters Duet

Aurora Casatori and Seirian Griffiths In All Black, Nothingness Began To Spin

Dark and foreboding, In All Black, Nothingness Began To Spin by Aurora Casatori and Serian Griffiths feels almost dystopian whilst exploring power and confrontation. In a dimly-lit space, two dancers move in conversation with one another. Though brilliantly controlled, the choreography is wild and furious, utilising free-flowing partner-work and seamless acrobatics. We hear various affected words and conversations – some sections more effective than others, mainly because at times, the audio is so afflicted that we're unable to draw any meaning from it. Regardless, the piece remains interesting, engaging, and a satisfying watch, not least because the two dancers’ skill and agility is second to none.

Hannah Waters’
Duet is a reflective solo work revolving around the choreographer’s connection to a passed relative. Waters opens by reading some words about her great aunt, informing us of her creative nature and artistic work, which is necessary, given the abstract nature of the remainder of the piece. In silence, Waters performs a series of angular, exacting gestures, with moments of suspension and weightiness. Although performed with precision, Duet lacks variety in its vocabulary, leaving it a little flat. Despite this, the sincerity and emotion portrayed by Waters is convincing, and the absence of music throughout,a bold and admirable choice.

Unless you suffer with entomophobia, What About The Rain? by Aishwarya Raut is a mustwatch. The piece considers Mumbai’s monsoon season in an intense, attention-holding manner, allowing little time to look away. Opening with a somewhat comedic solo centring mosquitos and their annoyance, an initially inconsequential buzzing sound soon intensifies into an insufferably loud drone, and any element of comedy is quickly discarded. Merciless choreography overflowing with detail, with an almost alien, bizarre quality to it ensues, which the dancers execute remarkably. Rhythmic and feral at moments, there is a slight mania to the majority of the piece. After some time, both dancers and audience experience relief, as the pouring of rain finally arrives and the relentless pace subsides. What About The Rain? is a gripping work, and Raut is no doubt a name to listen out for in years to come.

Emma van Boolen

A night of what proved to be thoughtful dance creation kicked off with Seirian Griffiths and Aurora Casatori's accomplished and beefy InAll Black, Nothingness Began To Spin. It's a work for the two in which they compete for power and control of a relationship. In a week when we have all been absorbed by Traitors on the telly, this seemed like a honed battle of wits as each Traitor tried to get the better of the other, by turns aggressive, manipulative, mirroring and supportive. Griffiths’ and Casatori's stunning and powerful dancing (backgrounds in BalletBoyz and Motionhouse are fully on show) and Andrew Ellis’s emphatic lighting is the takeaway here. Sadly, the overall ambiance was spoiled by a soundscape including many quotes from films that you can't really make out in real time - a bit irritating. That said, the closing "We're Done" quote punctuated In All Black well.

Hannah Waters'
Duet is a heartfelt work about the connection with her great aunt, the constructivist artist Jean Spencer, and started with an overly lengthy monologue to set the scene. But I wanted to move on quicker and see Waters' movement take on art that is all about mathematics and geometry - some projections of Spencer's pictures would have been handy. The movement was incredibly precise and very tightly constrained - nothing free-flowing here. And it was utterly absorbing… at first, but after a while my mind drifted as the lack of variety in the largely semaphore arms took its toll. An interesting experiment (and part of Waters' PhD project) but this felt like a dance dead-end, if clearly a touching personal response to another artist and art.

A polar opposite was the expansively exciting What About The Rain? by Rambert dancer Aishwarya Raut. For Raut and nine other Rambert dancers, this was a piece originally inspired by Mumbai's monsoon season… and life, the universe and everything, it seems. Many scenes didn't always seem relevant or to join up that well. BUT my goodness this could pack a punch visually with the stripped-back space pulsating with Bollywood and contemporary movement and some lovely images as dancers chain across the stage, drape themselves on others and cleverly appear and disappear from a wandering howdah. Raut, a catherine wheel of ideas, looks one to follow.

Bruce Marriott