The Errol White Company has produced an intriguing piece of dance that is both poetic and puzzling.
Founded in 2010 and based in Edinburgh, the company is led by its eponymous Artistic Director Errol White, and its more anonymous Co-Artistic Director, Davina Givan. The two not only collaborate on each new piece of work for the company, they also apparently moonlight together – both recently working with Scottish Ballet’s Ashley Page, and even more recently, both appointed Artistic Director (White) and Creative Director (Givan) of National Youth Dance Wales.
IAM, premiered in 2012, is a White-Givan collaboration. Its short tour of one-night stands across Scotland, began with a performance to a near-packed house at the Festival Studio in Edinburgh.
A row of standing spotlights flanked a black and bare stage. A man and a woman, dimly glimpsed at first, slowly moved together out of the gloom and into the light. Gliding forwards in a ballroom hold – he in a suit, she draped only in a piece of flimsy silk - you could be forgiven for thinking this might have been the beginning of a sultry tango.
The dancers’ bare feet signalled the unfolding of a contemporary style. The male dominance and control that accompanied the woman’s submissive posture, hinted at something more sinister beneath the intensity and fluidity of the movement.
What followed was at times fast-paced and furious; at all times the movements were executed with precision, skill and high energy – even, and perhaps especially, in its quieter moments. Givan and White, who took a commanding lead, were ably supported by the two male and two female dancers that made up this talented company.
As thoughtful and technically excellent as this piece was, it portrayed only a vague tension and turmoil that signified nothing in particular. While ostensibly about a powerful moment in a life that changes everything, impacting on the past as well as the future – this company actually made beautiful shapes, but not stories.
While the performance of the movements was free and ferocious, the expressive dance was disappointingly controlled and contained. A strong sense of connection between the performers was evident in the way they used their bodies, but their faces never really came alive, and an opportunity for communication and engagement was thus, frustratingly and mysteriously, missed.
The Academy, Inverurie
Saturday 29th March 2014, 7.30pm
Tickets £8/ £6 Conc. / £25 Family of four
Box Office: ticketsource.co.uk/neatshows.org.uk
Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit
Monday 31st March 2014, 7.30pm
£6 / £5 groups of 4+
Box Office: 01456 459 224 / craigmoniecentre.co.uk
Sunart Centre, Strontian
Wednesday 2nd April 2014, 8pm
£8 adult / £6 OAPs/ £3 schools
Box Office: 01397 709228 ticketsource.co.uk/sunartcentre.org
Cove Burgh Hall, Rosneath Peninsula
Saturday 5th April, 8pm
£10 advance booking / £12 door
Box Office www.coveburghhall.org.uk