16 October, 2002
Richard Alston Dance Company
Stampede / Rumours, Visions / Touch and Go
(dance umbrella)
19: 30 Sadler's Wells

I was wondering what people who saw this would think. This is supposed to be "contemporary" dance, is it not? He never destroys the sense of preestablished harmony in his creation. I couldn't see any relation to reality in this work, but perhaps none expected this apart from me.



Akram Khan Company
24 October, 2002
Akram Khan Company
Loose in Flight / Rush / Related Rocks
(dance umbrella)
19: 45 Queen Elizabeth Hall

Absolutely abstract! The staging is quite simple for dance in terms of the music, setting, costume and lighting. But the dance is full of the beauty of the body in motion. The speed he creates in this choreography is fascinating. It's so powerful. He is really a promising dancer and a choreographer. He creates his original style by bringing together the contemporary and the traditions from southern Asia.

The view from the Hungerford bridge at night is quite beautiful.


25 October, 2002
Royal Ballet
Wheeldon ballet (Mark Morris) / Gong (Music by Colin McPhee) / Carmen (Mats Ek)
19: 30 ROYAL OPERA HOUSE
It has been a very long time since I last saw BALLET, not only classical but also modern ballet. To put it on other words, I saw modern ballet has a center of point of view after a long time. I felt strange moving with toe shoes. There was a time when I use to admire dancers in toe shoes.
During the first and the second program, I was bored. All dancers seemed like dolls moving obediently as the choreographer required. There was great reestablished harmony here.
As for "Gong", its music composed by Colin McPhee in 1936, was inspired by Balinese music. It is just exotic music. I was booooored.
But Mats Ek and Sylvie Guillem came to the rescue. He added a modern bitch personality to Carmen. On the love scenes she was coquettish, funny and so lovely!! What Beautiful arms and legs she has! She played the frivolous young girl well. I think she is without doubt the dancer with the most elegant bow. Royal Opera House is a beautiful building.

And the view from the terrace at night was nice.



Mal Pelo
26 October, 2002
Mal Pelo
L'Anmal a L'esquena (The Animal on Your Back) (dance umbrella)
20: 00 The Place / The Robin Howard Dance Theatre
I enjoyed the first thirty minutes of this work. Unfortunately I couldn't continue doing so. Is this a mere love story? In the beginning, the female dancer has a charm of sexlessness. The male dancer is a charming "funny man in perplexity". But when the couple started playing "the couple", the air of mystery disappeared and the piece at once became tiresome and dull. If they had continued to be strangers, not a traveling couple, it would have reminded me of Becket's play.
Their dance itself was also not interesting for me.



Charleroi Dances / Plan K
27 October, 2002
Charleroi Dances / Plan K
Metapolis Project 972
(dance umbrella)
19: 45 Queen Elizabeth Hall
Was this piece created in the 80's? No, this work was made in 2000. It is hardly the end of 20th century! In total, it has the happy air of the 80s avant-garde. And even the theme of the connectivity between the body, the architecture and the city is typically 80s. Has the 80s been revived on the dance scene as well? The dance, the costume, the music, the footage used, all of them reminded me of a time long gone by.
They shot and projected scenes on the stage real time. And they projected many sights of cities actually onto the live video image by "blue screen". It did not create a good effect. The footage itself was no good. I guess they wished to express political and architectural issues through these images. But they didn't succeeded.
The production design was by Zaha Hadid. The set is bovine and does not have any explosion and lightness she has on her architectural sketches.
Furthermore, There was sound trouble during the performance. The dancers had to dance in silence for a few minutes. Soon they stopped and restarted. It was the first time I have had such an experience. Perhaps this was the reason the performance lost its sense of drive.



Walker Dance & Park Music
30 October, 2002
Walker Dance & Park Music
Moment to Moment / The Self / The 3 of Us
(dance umbrella)
20: 00 The Place / The Robin Howard Dance Theatre
This was the first time that I saw her work. On "Moment to Moment", which is a solo dance piece, she appeared like a little girl. She seems sensitive expressing her young girl's emotions such as fear and anxiety. But her movements show not only that but flexible strength. Also in the other piece, we can see her style in dynamic motion, the sudden stops and in the sound of breathing. She focuses on emotion from self-exposure and the relation between dancers, which at times seem violent. "The Self " features the Jenny Tettersall, a former Royal Ballet dancer. "The 3 of Us" consists of five dancers. Especially the latter half, made of three male dancers, is full of thrilling beauty. Three male dancers seem to struggle sometimes with tenderness, sometimes with hatred. It seems like sadistic love. But I couldn't see sentiment in it.
She is a really brilliant dancer and an articulate choreographer. But I think we see Fin Walker at her best in the solos. In the "The 3 of Us" she seemed, even on stage to return to the role of choreographer while performing with other dancers.And she has good co-workers fortunately. Park Music consists of acoustic bass, electric piano, percussions and vocal. They play on the right-hand side of the stage. They play contemporary music thrillingly. Fantastic sounds. The vocalist sings in Latin with his back to the audience in "The 3 of Us". Fin Walker and Ben Park(composer) make a good collaboration.
And the costume is made so simple in color by a see-through black and red. In addition, the lighting is excellent. In "The Self" Adam Silverman(Lighting designer) uses the spotlight effectively. The lighting draws geometrical forms on the back screen(Lightning design by Lucy Carter). Their staging is quite stylish. Seeing her works was an amazing experience. Wonderful!!!



Special thanks: Kengo Oshima