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Watch This Space: Dance week

Posted on August 17, 2011


afuegolentoIt’s dance week at Watch This Space, the free performance festival held in Theatre Square, outside London’s National Theatre. Running from Wednesday, August 17 – Sunday, August 21, it offers everything from fiery tango to contemporary dance with a taxi cab.


Today, Avante Garde Dance perform Taxi!, using contemporary and hip hop dance, parkour and a London taxi for a brisk journey through the hurly-burly of urban life. It’s on today at 1.15pm and at 6.30pm.


dANTE or dIE perform La Fille à la Mode on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Audiences can follow a mysterious young woman with an accordion into hidden parts of the National Theatre for a site-specific dance work. Directed by Daphna Attais and Terry O’Donovan, the work is a witty look at the “woman of fashion”. Numbers are limited, so sign up in the Square to reserve your place. Performances are at 2pm, 3.30pm and 5pm. On Friday, you can join the company for a workshop on site-specific dance. Call 020 7452 3445 to book.


On Thursday at 1.15m and 6pm, the Marc Brew Company dance Nocturne. Inspired by Whistler’s paintings, the dance evokes London at dusk, in a world of exhausted embraces and near misses.


The dances of Bal Moderne, by Belgian company Arenel Productions, are short contemporary works, created for people with no experience of dance. Come to the Square and learn one or more of the dances – or sit back and watch everybody else. On Thursday, performances are at 2pm, 5pm and 6.30pm. The company return on Friday at 1.15m, 5pm and 6.30pm. Saturday’s performances are at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.


Chrysalis, by Catalan dancer Jordi L Vidal, is a couple dance using a rope as set and prop. The two dancers work with and against each other in a journey of emotional transformation. Performances are on Friday at 6pm, on Saturday at 1.30pm and 5.30pm and on Sunday at 1.15pm.


A Fuego Lento, by the French Compagnie Bilbobasso (pictured), is a fiery tango – literally, since the couple dance through smoke and flames in a pyrotechnic display. It’s on Friday and Saturday at 10pm.


Motionhouse Dance Theatre dance Cascade on Saturday at 1pm and 6.30pm. Four dancers fall, slide and tumble their way through a submerged house in a rising flood, trying to keep their heads above water.

Next week, the lawn will be relaid in Theatre Square. Before the grass comes back, Tango Siempre give a last sultry dance in the Sqaure, with a tango performance at 2pm on Sunday, August 21.

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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