This show by Wales-based company Harnisch-Lacey Dance’s show mixes contemporary dance with breakdancing and elements of parkour. The premise is exciting – who doesn’t like a bit of parkour? And the revealing of two ramps on stage as the lights go up creates rather high expectations. Yet the show in its entirety does not quite live up to the expectations.
It appears that both choreographers and dancers preferred to play it safe when they have both the talent and the energy to do more.
Set to an original score, SPIN is composed of a number of fast-paced, exciting sequences, and in the solos the three dancers shone – Becci Williams’s frantic piece being especially memorable. Yet one had the impression that the dancers were tired, and not quite achieving as much as they appear to have the potential for. The two mobile ramps that dominate the stage are integrated in the choreography and used by two dancers in particular for some parkour moves. The performers dance on the ramps, run on them, or shift them around as the other dance, challenging them to include these in their moves. The juxtaposition of these moments with more fluid contemporary dance is not consistent throughout the show and the two different styles, bridged by breakdancing, do not quite gel.
On the day I saw SPIN, one of the four dancers could not perform after he injured himself the day before. Rumours say that the choreography had to be re-tailored for the other three overnight. Perhaps this is the reason why the three dancers I saw seemed a little thrown off. Leaving aside the moments when the absence of a fourth dancer was obvious, mostly the others’ movements were often just about out of synch, and even though their energy was palpable, one had the feeling that they were struggling to keep up their energy throughout the performance.
One has the impression that SPIN can still be developed and pushed toward a more daring choreography and bolder moves. At the moment, it appears that both choreographers and dancers preferred to play it safe when they have both the talent and the energy to do more.