21 February 2020

maliphantworks3 at The Coronet Theatre

Getting to see dance in South West London remains a challenge so the opportunity to see maliphantworks3 at The Coronet Theatre was a no-brainer, especially so as I had enjoyed maliphantworks2 there almost two years previously.

This time we went with friends. It was too difficult to meet up beforehand with us coming from three different directions after doing three different things but somehow we all found ourselves in the Old Swan at the same time. It was a pub I knew reasonably well from my many visits to the Czech and Slovak Embassies nearby and while the pub did nothing special the beer and vegetarian fish and chips were perfectly acceptable. They both did the job.

It was a short walk from there to The Coronet Theatre and we made sure that we arrived in good time to enjoy another drink in what must be the most eclectic theatre bar in London.

The performance opened with the main (i.e. longest) piece of the evening, The Space Between, developed with a video artist. Here light and sound were as important as the dancers who were often lost in the darkness only to slide back into view again. Possibly not for dance purists but I loved it.

After a short break we had two short films that had even less dance in them and just about took me to my limit of being able to accept this as dance. Perhaps that was the point. They were still attention grabbing but in a different way.

The evening closed with Duet which I had seen and loved before, and loved again. It was similar to the first piece with the lighting playing a lesser role, that did not make it better but it did make it different.

The dancing throughout was gentle and fluid, no leaps or rolls here, and the focus was very much on the upper body. The deliberate gloom and the clothing his the details and what we saw was shapes rather than gestures. It was a mood to sweep you along rather than something to focus intently on.

If there is ever a maliphantworks4 I will be going to see that too.

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