Michael Clark Company: Triple Bill

Michael Clark Company, Barbican, London: review

As a novice to abstract dance, the Michael Clark Company: Triple Bill held at the Barbican Centre was contemporary and captivating. As though watching quartet notes coming alive to the beat of the music with meticulous precision, six dancers took possession of the stage and our eyes in a mesmerising dance sequence.

Clark’s bill shows his exploration of shapes, structures and adaption of classical ballet to modernist movement. Consisting of three short pieces, the show opening with Julie Cunningham slowly lowered onto the stage; resonating the image of a pebble dropping into the ocean in slow-motion. Her feet landed in perfect precision; a precision that continues throughout the show.

Themes of the universe, world and the question of one’s being played out throughout the bill and the clever use of lighting shining on the audience created a sense of hyper-awareness. The synchronisation of the six dancers and the meticulous steps in accordance with the beat created the physical image of time.

Dressed in black skirts and tops, the six dancers fuse classical ballet with modernisation to the sounds of Scritti Politti. Then, the tempo is raised with the middle section set on the elaborate Public Image Ltd’s Albatross and Sex Pistols.

The finale, a section added from the previous year’s double-bill production, sees greater use of shape, movement and the exploitation of stage space, sometimes making you feel enclosed and claustrophobic, to the sounds of Pulp and Relaxed Muscle.

With contemporized abstract dance sequences where the six dancers lie on the floor, sit on stools or tower on their tiptoes, Clark’s piece is simple yet stunning.

Until November 30. Tickets 020 7638 8891; barbican.org.uk

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