Your Say

  • Very impressive. All the 3 pieces showed great originality, particularly the final piece “Kridt” which was surprisingly moving.
    The lighting was also stunning.
    I saw the show in Poole, Dorset 1st Feb.

    Mark, 2nd February 2011

  • I was lucky enough to be in the Oxford Audience on January 22nd. The technical ability of the dancers was without question, such timing! A joy to see. The reason for me doing this (and I don’t normally) is because I have never been so moved by a dance peice as I was by the final peice in the programme; and I have been watching contemporary dance since 1968. Your sublime correography totally captured the essence of a person dying in a deeply moving way and for me was multi – layered and your dancers were totally present in the peice and conveyed fully elements of dying which I beleive could not be expressed more fluently or richly in any other medium than dance. Thank you so much. I loved the 2nd peice too; again precision dancing at it’s best – Please come again soon.

    Patricia Mason, 26th January 2011

  • Visually breathtaking, beautifully rendered dance…The music was powerful and the dancers demonstrated just how perfectly the human body can move. A show I’ll remember for many, many years. Thank you.

    I saw the show at Warwick Arts Theater on 25 january 2011.

    Claire Ewen, 25th January 2011

  • The Danish Dance Theatre’s first-time tour to the UK began here at the Oxford Playhouse, and I was fortunate to see the second-ever show.

    When I would mention in passing that I was going to see the performance, I didn’t quite know what to call it: “I’m going to a play – well, not a play,” I would say – “…a performance” – “I’m seeing Danish Dance Theatre,” I said by the end of the day, and it is appropriately, simply, named. In fact, experiencing the genre – “dance theatre” helped me to appreciate the art of performance in general.

    Choreographed by Tim Rushton, the show is advertised as “classical beauty of ballet combined with the power of contemporary dance,” a combination that is both strong and poetic. The technical precision of ballet implies deliberateness, while the contemporary aspects invoke emotion. The rapid yet elegant motions tell stories that you can’t quite place.

    The first piece, Enigma, opens with an empty stage and minimal effects – just enough lighting to simply cover the space. The dancers begin their fluid movements before any sound accompanies them. Throughout the piece the lighting shifts, first dramatically, throwing a pair of dancers into a harsh spotlight just as they strike a prominent pose, and later so naturally that the change is unnoticeable until it happens. Unnerving sounds fill the stage, resembling everyday sounds that are irritatingly unidentifiable. A memorable moment was when a male dancer spastically convulsed while a female dancer sat calmly still in a crouched position, unfazed.

    Perhaps the most beautiful part of Enigma is the transition in sound to chimes as the stage fills with patches of light, subtly illuminating the dancers who are otherwise in smoky darkness.

    The second piece, CaDance, features all men in an apparently effortless flow of movement – although the piece’s end, which focuses on one man who steps out from the crowd and begins to hyperventilate and shake violently, suggests a contrast between appearance and reality, between inner and outer experiences. This piece is illuminated by two prominent hanging lamps, and is accompanied by Andy Pape’s score performed by two live drummers. CaDance has more of an urban feel, but the music adds tribal-like rhythm.

    Attempting to define the genre of this performance, I come to the phrase “poetry without words.” This interpretation is challenged by the opening of Kridt (“Chalk”). As dancers fill the stage, one remains at the back wall, which has become a giant blackboard, to write words across it. The letters overlap and there are no spaces or signs of punctuation in between: TIMETOLOVEATIMETOHATEATIMETOMOURN. The dancers in the foreground become the focal background as the audience struggles to distinguish the letters from another. Throughout the theatre I hear whispers of viewers sharing the words with one another. The blackboard guides through the story, as several of the dancers interact with it and modify what is written on it. One dancer traces the outline of another, creating a comical line of vague silhouettes, an interpretation of living movements. A third dancer traces over the same lines that were just inscribed as if she were learning it, or at least experiencing it through the scribe’s interpretation.

    In these movements are embedded the essence of theatre: first there is an idea, then an interpretation, chosen by directors and actors, and then a third interpretation, from the audience.

    The finale finds a male dancer center stage, surrounded by the other dancers in a circle, with sand pouring upon his head in a continuous streaming line. It was not until this moment that I thought of the dancers as human rather than representations of abstract concepts. The man’s single experience separated him from the crowd, which molds around him, and distinguishes him in his suffering. The entire piece is complemented by Peteris Vasks’s Musica Adventus.

    For a theatre fan, Danish Dance Theatre provides an excellent introduction to the world of dance performance since it includes elements of theatre while also displaying talented performers and Rushton’s gracefully edgy choreography.

    Xandra, 23rd January 2011

  • A great programme, and “Kridt” made for a revelatory, unforgettable second half. On a damp and nondescript January night in Oxford, Danish Dance Theatre caught hold of something elemental and vital. “Enigma” has gorgeous, rawly seductive choreography from Tim Rushton that allows a series of couples to intertwine as they move in and out of the ensemble. “CaDance” is a thoroughly enjoyable, percussive exercise in machismo – the drummers are as much the stars as the dancers here. But “Kridt” is something else – a stark and moving portrayal of a life reaching its end, outlined in chalk (in one of several superb theatrical coups) against a blackboard that reminds us there is “a time to die”. I want to see it again.

    Jeremy, 23rd January 2011

  • Emotional, moving and engaging work. I can’t wait to see Danish Dance Theatre perform again when they come to the UK. Highly recommended!

    Lisa, 9th December 2010

  • I saw this company perform in Oslo earlier this year and thoroughly recommend them.

    Anonymous, 3rd November 2010

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