Tuesday, 10 May 2016

REVIEW: Footprint Dance Festival: First Steps

9 May 2016
Footprint Dance Festival
Roehampton Dance
First Steps

Footprint Dance Festival kick started a week of workshops, events and evening performances with an eclectic mix of contemporary dance at First Steps. The bill included works from Roehampton Dance students Ellie Hall, Kali Allen, Dan WalshBrandon Trieu, Mitch Hammond, Harriet Roberts, Emily Robinson and Daniella Fox. Outside artists, Elevate Dance Company, and Sekar Sari also presented interesting films and live performance.

Beginning the evening Ellie Hall presented the self explanatory and amusing In Eight, which plays with timing, simple (but satisfying) movement, repetition and sound. 

Following an uplifting performance of Iridescent by Elevate Dance Company, final year student Dan Walsh presented an incredibly fun and light hearted duet set to Nina Simone's Here Comes the Sun. Bound together at the wrist, the pair scuffle over a pair of sunglasses. Overtly stylised and pantomime-like, Walsh parades about the stage, triumphant in winning back his sunglasses from dancer Abi Smallwood. Here Comes The Sun is cheeky and bold.

Film highlights include Kali Allen's DRACA AND ARACH, which explores the loss of a loved one and the chasm left behind. Daniella Fox's Feathered Folk draws upon natural imagery and repeated motifs. And, Indonesian Artist Sekar Sari investigates identity through the use of a traditional mask- a thoughtful and pensive film.

Other exciting works include Introspectator choreographed by Brandon Trieu of SomaKinetic Movement Collective. Dancer Phoebe Crnich indulges in gorgeous undulations and fast paced floor work. Set to a vaguely French score, Mitch Hammond's tender choreography in The Loneliest Boy in the World also takes advantage of his dancers abilities. Fluttering wrists and highly gestural movement guide Hammond's exploration.

Finally, 3rd year students Harriet Roberts and Emily Robinson's 3 tbsp brought about a dark and ghostly tone. The dancers clutch one another, humming quiety on the dimly lit stage. Their bodies seem to melt together- it's hard to see where one body ends and the other begins. Gentle mime, coupled with moments of precise unison and a shadowy set create Roberts and Robinson's captivating dream like realm.

Footprint Dance Festival continues at Roehampton Dance until 14 May. For more information please visit: www.footprintdancefestival.com

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