Still Current at Sadler’s Wells
Still Current is Russell Maliphant’s startling display of the beauty and power of the human form. An hour and a half of solos, duos and trios at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, the show is a rare demonstration of harmony between score, sound and lighting. Contemporary in every sense of the word, Still Current is accessible to both dance fanatics and those just coming along for a night of entertainment.
The excellence of the composition is the first thing you notice: although from various composers, the music in the first half is always powerful. The acoustics of the theatre lend themselves well to Maliphant’s intention to create tension and at points the audience were holding their breath while the walls around them shook menacingly with the bass.
It is, however, impossible to talk about the score without mentioning Michael Hull’s incredible light work. It is difficult to imagine the human body in a more beautiful form than when it twists and turns under Hull’s inspiring and ever-changing lights. The contrast between the sharp shapes of light that flash, glow, shrink and expand, and the pure darkness that surrounds them allows us to scrutinise the dancers’ bodies, exposing every single move and flex of a muscle.
The dancers themselves are delightfully diverse, from the muscular Dickson Mbi whose background is in popping and boogaloo to the elegant and fragile Carys Staton, these dancers all have one thing in common: their undeniable talent. The most spellbinding performance of the night is Traces, which begins as a solo from Thomas Gulgec, later joined by Maliphant and Mbi. The piece is a study of circles and diagonals with Gulgec’s body as the centre of the circular motion. The dancers’ bodies move across the stage like silk across skin in a performance that is enrapturing from beginning to end.
The second half of the performance is just as aesthetically pleasing but with less of the emotive power of the first. Gulgec performs a more classical and traditional piece with a lulling and entrancing style. The finale is from Maliphant and Staton, who work together in an interesting duet that explores separation and closeness.
Maliphant’s Still Current lives up to its name and proves that dance still has the ability to stir our emotions. For a refreshing and emotive experience, book a ticket to see it today.
Photos: Hugo Glendinning
Still Current is at Sadler’s Wells Theatre until 7th June 2014. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
Watch a trailer for Russell Maliphant’s Still Current here: