Dance review: Ragged but promising debut of Re:Dance Theatre 2

Prologue was the triple-bill debut performance of Re:Dance Theatre 2. -- PHOTO: BERNIE NG
Prologue was the triple-bill debut performance of Re:Dance Theatre 2. -- PHOTO: BERNIE NG

Goodman Arts Centre Black Box/Friday

Prologue was the triple-bill debut performance of Re:Dance Theatre 2, the more inexperienced, younger sister of Re:Dance Theatre.

While the second company's dancers were not the most technically proficient - a missed beat here, a wobble there -the trio of choreographers displayed strong, distinctive voices throughout the programme, staged at Goodman Arts Centre on Friday.

The night began with the strongest work of the three, Fitted by Rachel Lum. It was a creative, quirky and well-paced package, tied together with a huge dollop of personality.

In Fitted, the dancers each wore thin, long-sleeved shirts, which ended up being used in a multitude of ways. First, the shirts were anchors, which allowed one dancer to pivot freely, using another's body as a counterweight. Then, the shirts were blindfolds, leashes or handles.

At one point, the ensemble stretched the front of the shirt over their heads, as if celebrating a goal, and then dove into a blind forward roll.

The piece was inspired by how clothing changes how others see us, and with Fitted, Lum showed the audience that she was confidently inventive, with a sharp eye for pacing and drama.

The second piece of the night, Insight by Adeline Ee, started off on the right footing but quickly lost its balance. It began with three dancers trapped in a small rectangle of light, their feet planted firmly on the ground as their arms whizzed, arced, see-sawed and flowered in unison.

Ee's piece was supposed to parallel the process of making of a decision: gathering information, weighing the odds, and coming to a conclusion.

Unfortunately, the precision of her choreography began to fray when the three dancers spread out across the stage, in the second and third segments.

What was tightly-controlled, purposeful movement began to look disjointed and the cadence of the piece slowed and meandered, which was a pity, given Ee's sharp start.

The evening ended with Me And You And It And We To Me by Seow Yi Qing, which explored man's relationship with the environment.

The stage was strewn with dried brown leaves, which rustled as the dancers passed through them.

Seow's movement was fluid and organic, with the dancers threading their way seamlessly through the piles on the floor.

Every so often, the ensemble would freeze, and one dancer would electrify another into movement, passing on an invisible spark.

However, before long, the choreography began to suffer from the same stagnation as the piece before - a wavering focus, repetition, and a loss of the sharpness that kickstarted each work.

While each of the works was less than 20 minutes long, they displayed the potential and promise that each choreographer possessed.

Their works may have been ragged around the edges, but each demonstrated a clarity and vision that once honed, would be extraordinary.

If this is just the start of Re:Dance Theatre 2's professional career, then its future looks bright.

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