Monday, July 18, 2011

Sunday Morning at Laban (review)

I spent many happy hours at Laban in Deptford when my daughter was attending the very popular Saturday children's classes there, but until last week I'd never actually been to a performance by adult dancers.

I greatly enjoyed Sunday Morning, a dance piece choreographed by Hagit Yakira. It was a Tuesday night, but in keeping with the Sunday Morning theme free coffee and croissants were provided in the foyer.

The piece explores childhood memories and family relationships, the frozen moment of the posed family picture interspersed with harmony, tension, and sometimes violence.

Here's a short film of the four dancers (Takeshi Matsumoto, Orley Quick, Cornelius Joubert and Hagit Yakira) rehearsing Sunday Morning.

What this film doesn't do justice to is the Laban itself, its main theatre a great performance space with a fantastic sound system. I'd never heard Bob Dylan's Don't Think Twice it's Alright (which features in Sunday Morning) sound so good as it did through their speakers. The piece also featured some beautiful live guitar courtesy of Tom James Scott

Next to Deptford Creek some of the finest dancers in the world are studying and performing in one of the best buildings in London. Try and get along to one of their events if you can and don't be intimidated by the supposed difficulty of some contemporary dance. As Suzanne Moore wrote yesterday of an event elsewhere 'With dance I start off making narratives and then I relax and just see sculpture and bodies and relationships and sex and joy and fear. Nothing is more exciting' (Guardian, 16 July 2011). What's not to like?

For information on forthcoming events check the Trinity Laban website. Next up from the 26 to 29 July is the end of year showcase from the post-graduate students.

(for some earlier history, see this previous post on John Cage and Merce Cunningham at Laban)

Update: here's some more news on the graduate shows at Laban: 'Trinity Laban’s graduate shows will feature MA dancers and choreographers performing daring and risk-taking new work at Laban Theatre from 26-29 July. Some of the finest dance pioneers will perform across four evenings, including choreography and performances by multitalented dance artists Parisian Emma Zangs and Argentinean Mariana Marquez... Each night will present an individual showcase of inspirational, thought-provoking and cutting-edge performance confirming Trinity Laban’s presence at the forefront of contemporary dance. Although performances at Laban Theatre start at 19.30h, events, installations and showings will arise around the dance buildings from 18.30h releasing dance performance from the often restrictive nature of traditional venues. Tickets are £6 (£3) and can be booked by calling 020 8463 0100 or by visiting'. Some of the performances are for over-18s only.

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