Union

CAPA College are in Edinburgh bringing with them a collection of talented young dancers and a showcase of conceptually ambitious routines. Momentum dance presents Union a collection of work providing a good opportunity to see some up and coming talent though five original pieces of work. There are some truly breath-taking moments to be seen however they are let down by some uninspiring choreography and unfocused ensemble work.

Alex’s talent and stage presence is abundant and it will be very interesting to see what she goes on to accomplish in upcoming years.

The show explodes open with Identity. This was has fast paced, intensive piece of work looking at the loss of individual identity within a collective society. Combined with somewhat over dramatic lighting and music the performance is genuinely exciting. However it is in this opening number that the ensemble issue become apparent with dancers not quite stylistically in tune with one another and clumsy use of space as they try to navigate the stage. The solo moments in this piece however were fantastically executed making it easily watchable.

Following on from this was the work that the show gets its name from – Union – giving it high expectations that were underwhelmingly met. Again there are clear issues with the ensemble section along with bizarre costume choices. The piece itself was fine but did not stand out within the context of the whole showcase.

What Are You Waiting For? provides the middle piece. Choreographed by Alex Bowen, this is where Momentum dance showed their true potential. The work was thought provoking and bold providing many five-star moments to an otherwise average show. It took a dark and brave look at the inner working of the mind. Lead by Keith Luke Gillott in an absolutely stunning performance of pain and confusion as he is tormented by Alex Bowen (also the choreographer), as a femme fatale with full command of both the stage and the audience. Alex’s talent and stage presence is abundant and it will be very interesting to see what she goes on to accomplish in upcoming years.

Something’s Wrong With This Plot choreographed by James Cousins in collaboration with the dancers. This piece aims to “Flip our deeply ingrained stereotypes of gender on their head”. To put it plainly it does not achieve this. The piece opens showing a romantic duet between two men, which although not commonly seen in contemporary dance is hardly ground-breaking gender politics. The duet however was unquestionably beautiful and tender, a real pleasure to watch. The piece then attempts a role reversal between the male and female dancers. The men embraced camp masculinity successfully but it would have been nice to see the gender flip to go further. The climatic finale was choreographed again by Alex, whose work for the second time of the performance stole the show. Under My Skin delivers a beautifully poetic lyrical contemporary dance sequence with innovative moments of chorus work ending the show with a real wow.

Reviews by Gillian Bain

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Union explores a union of ideas, inspiration and individuality of our talented young choreographers and dancers. Union is a varied, entertaining and visually striking mixed bill performance infused with Momentum's contemporary urban energy, athleticism and attack. Momentum Dance, the performance company of CAPA College, proudly present an exciting new dance programme of original works by some of the UK's leading young choreographers including Joss Arnott, Alex Bowen and James Cousins.