Last month Hofesh Shechter, Akram Khan and Lloyd Newson—three giants of the UK's contemporary dance scene—issued a damning edict on the quality of British contemporary training, claiming they regularly struggle to recruit home-grown talent “of sufficient calibre.” Their criticism raises some interesting questions about how we measure quality in the contemporary sphere, where technique is not codified as definitively as it is in ballet, and valuable performance skills can range from improvisation to gymnastics to vocals. What makes a good contemporary dancer? Is it strength? Precision? Versatility? Emotion? Intent?
JV2 . Photograph Alastair Muir
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading