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> > > Review: The Place present Fresh 2012

Boy Blue Entertainment perform 'Krump-Buck-Amp'. Photo by Jonnie Malachi

Bringing together some of the UK’s most dynamic youth and professional dance companies including Cando2, Fresh is The Place's annual celebration of dance designed for young people. Sophie Partridge reviewed the performance on 1 December

Cando2’s piece 'Long Play' was taken from Candoco Dance Company’s most recent set, 'Looking Back' by Richard Ouramdane.  This was an interesting concept and particular moments such as the flocking sequence from the original, were particularly strong, with individual performers each getting their `moment’ as the short piece progressed. However it wasn’t somehow, quite as engaging as Cando2’s performance at Fresh 2011 and I came away wondering why again have they performed separately and not as part of the main show?

The main performance had fewer pieces than last year’s though generally was higher quality. A&R Dance Company’s piece I’mPossible, was incredible. The dance directly correlated with the music of four base clarinets, and was refreshing to behold!

Quite often contemporary dance, feels as if it’s performed regardless of the music, which can then feel a little pretentious... In A&R's piece all the performers displayed great isolation of movement and articulation.

Simone Riccio
did a solo performance of 'My Reclaim'. This was a performed with something which looked very much like a giant hamster wheel! Hmm. Wasn’t really `my cup of tea’ although I’ve a feeling he made something really difficult look easy? Maybe... I also wasn’t sure if the use of party-poppers was meant to be ironic?!..

Camila Gitierrez and Fionn Cox-Davies performed 'Accomplices' -
a duet featuring a lot of lifts and jumps. James Cousins Company's piece was inspired by the novel Norwegian Wood and performed beautifully and with a strong narrative.

We were informed by the compere that the two dancers, were not the original performers and had only had one day to rehearse, yet it was superbly done. The female dancer was kept off the floor by her male partner, for the entire six minute piece. It felt much like a figure-head’s relationship with her ship! As she had no completely independent movement, it resonated with me as a disabled woman with restricted mobility and I was left wondering if she really wanted to reach the ground or not...

Shift's 'The Falling Room' was the most conventional of all the pieces on offer through the evening. It was, again very skilled contemporary dance stuff, but a little flat...

Boy Blue Entertainment's 'Krump-Buck-Amp' was divided into three sections. This finale to the evening began with young black men, appearing with menace dressed in hoods with their faces hidden.  The movement felt intimidating but in the  second part, two young women joined the group and the mould was broken just as it began to feel like an X-box type, digital game. The third and last part was definitely the most joyful and though the movement never lost its fierceness, its overall impact was positive!

All in all a great evening at The Place, worth braving the cold for.