Russell Maliphant Dance Company

Liverpool Playhouse (9th-10th March 2006)

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

I am not a dance aficionado by any stretch of the imagination but this performance at the Liverpool Playhouse by the highly acclaimed Russell Maliphant Company held me spellbound throughout. Not only was the dance highly imaginative, but the lighting and the often hypnotic music which accompanied it played an integral part in adding dynamic effects to the graceful movements.

It included the UK premiere of two new works - the first of which, Transmission, was created for five female dancers and showcases the visual splendour of lighting designer Michael Hulls. It opens with beams of light directed onto the hands and arms of four of the dancers whilst otherwise shrouded in darkness. It then leads to various duets, with dancers lifting each other up as if they were light as a feather. A specially commissioned score by Maliphant and sound artist Mukul for this piece adds a highly effective ambient soundscape.

The programme also features a new male solo piece for the Cuban dancer Alex Varona, and a duet between Varona and Juliette Barton, which is set to music by Andy Cowton with vocals by Barbara Gellhorn.

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