Together, Not the Same at Sadler’s Wells
As part of the Sadler’s Wells Young Associates, Together, Not The Same features four separate acts which thematise various different takes on the relations between humans and their surroundings. The result is an extremely varied and captivating exploration of four young choreographers’ artistic visions.
Christopher Thomas’s To The Ocean Floor is an abstract representation of the state of a woman’s mind as she experiences abuse and grief. Through an effective piano score and a lighting design highlighting cold white and blue colours, the act creates an atmosphere in tune with the concept and the choreography, in which most of the dancers perform the emotions featured in the main “narrative” enacted by the lead performers. Sadly, these story segments are a little to concrete for an abstract representation, and thus feel forced in the otherwise enchanting production.
In a style which would have been what the 80s thought 2019 would look like, Port Manteau attempts to bring humour to the evening through what should be an introduction to a utopic, artificial second earth which humans flee to after abandoning their doomed planet. Predictably, the utopia fails in the second half of the act. While Ruby Portus’s choreography is generally skilled, this act feels neither new nor surprising.
Anthony Matsena’s Vessels of Affliction explores the coming-together of various people and portrays the beauties of tribalism in the first half of the act, before turning to the suffering of the same group when confronted with an oppressive system in the second. The first features a drum-laden score and brownish lights which wouldn’t feel out of place in a production of Sacre du Printemps, whereas the second displays a lot of grey and bright lights. With excellent dancers and an atmospheric score, this performance ignites from start to finish.
In the final act, Wilhelmina Ojanen presents the audience with Land, which displays the relation between humans and the very soil on which they live. Spectators witness the dancers, with a great deal of sensitivity and empathy, handle various plants and soil while performing to the sombre and powerful music, highlighting the necessary grief humanity feels – or will feel – at the prospect of ruining their planet.
With such a varied and powerful program displaying the importance of contemporary dance in bringing current issues to the forefront, Together, Not The Same is a wonderful success from a very young group of performers.
Photos: Helen Murray
Together, Not the Same is at Sadler’s Wells from 17th July until 1st January 1970. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.