23 Oct 2012 in Dance & Drama, General, Highland

Ardross Community Hall, 19 October 2012

A LENGTH of white material scattered with pebbles and more fabric scrunched into the shape of a torc form the performance site for the four dancers of Edinburgh-based LaNua.

THE audience sits, waiting, each holding a pebble. Two scarlet-sashed dancers enter, moving gracefully and very slowly to a gamelan-style soundtrack. Smooth, strong, slow movement is the true test of a dancer’s skill, far more so than the showy leaps and fast turns that usually earn applause; they pass it effortlessly. Two more dancers join them and move along sinuous pathways that only they can see, tracing the spirals and curves of Zen gardens, perhaps.

Merav Israel’s choreography for enso flows naturally, with a dream-like feel where the meaning is tantalisingly just out of reach. Sometimes, strangely, it’s like watching a natural history documentary as movement sequences are repeated in fractal patterns, or danced in unison like little flocks of birds. Sometimes it’s like looking into a kaleidoscope, but with none of the showy artifice of a Busby Berkeley musical. Sometimes the movements are like involuntary reflexes.

enso by LaNua (photo A-Fotografy)

enso by LaNua (photo A-Fotografy)

The achievement of LaNua’s work is that it all feels satisfyingly ‘right’. It is rare to leave a dance performance feeling both refreshed and uplifted but as we file out, pausing to lay down a pebble at a place of our own choosing, before lingering outside to share our experience, it’s obvious that we all do. Inspiring, exceptional, beautiful and perfectly suited to the warm ambience of the Ardross Community Hall.

© Jennie Macfie, 2012