OGUIKE is the most overtly musical of the current
crop of gifted young British choreographers. His
response to a score is practically visceral, as
was evident during the launch of his
companys spring tour in Bracknell.
premiered last year, is a perfect example of how
Oguike digs into the fabric of a composition,
using it for an exploration of rhythm that his
six thrillingly willing dancers then claim as
their own. This jolting, unpredictable piece
reaches so far inside Shostakovichs 9th
Quartet in E Flat, played live by the Pavão
Quartet, that the drama seems to boiling up from
inside their skins.
fighting stances or falling and rolling on to the
floor, their put-up-your-dukes fists are
contrasted with desperately fibrillating hands.
throughout is sharp, angular and fiercely sprung.
The music is further augmented by the stamping of
the dancers bare feet and the hard slap of
flesh on flesh.
two world premieres, the more significant based
on a pre-recording of Purcells Dido and
Aeneas. Sarah Storer embodied the Queen of
Carthage and the hate-filled Sorceress who
sabotages her happiness. Nuno Silva was cast as
her Aeneas, while Nuno Campos and Charlotte
Eatock made a mark in supporting parts.
unfamiliar with Purcell may have to work harder
to grasp narrative nuances, but this chamber
piece grows in stature as you watch. Oguike has
conceived it with economy and grandeur, even if
midway he wittily juxtaposes Purcells
celestial vocals with bestial, bandy-legged steps
and vulgar pelvic grinds.
The dance builds
to a daringly long, seemingly static close imbued
with sorrow. I wont forget the sight of
Campos gently nudging Didos corpse with his
head. Elizabeth Bakers costumes have a
handsome classical chic, while Guy Hoares
gilt-edged lighting is masterly.
other premiere was Finale, a deceptively
casual, feel-good ensemble piece cued to jaunty
music by the contemporary French composer René
Aubry. Its low on content but highly
agree-able, although the dancers didnt
quite have the measure of it on opening night.
danced the short solo FPS (Frames Per
Second), reworked since its premiere last May and
set to a Bill Evans piece. Ranging round the
stage with a panthers grace, avoiding the
shifting geometry of light at the centre, Oguike
could be some beautiful wild animal observed at a