As soon as maliphantworks3 was over, I longed to watch it again.
maliphantworks3 is made up of two live duets and two short filmed solos. With the exception of Film Two, performed by Russell Maliphant, the palette is muted: black, white, grey, the atmosphere a dark penumbra, Panagiotis Tomaras video projections shimmering monads of light, enveloping the stage and the dancers’ bodies.
As the first piece of the evening, The Space Between, starts, a totally dark stage gradually lights up with Tomaras’ projections, allowing us to discern two bodies lying curled up on the ground. The combination of soundscape (authored by Dana Fouras) and tremulous video suggests the sea, from which the two figures, Russell Maliphant and Dana Fouras, slowly rise.
They dance together, yet apart, Maliphant very grounded, often in deep plié, Fouras rising higher, her long, extraordinarily eloquent arms and shoulders creating waves, the tilt of her head offering a hint of vulnerability, her body executing perfectly controlled slow turns, as if carried along by the tide.
The Space Between induced such immersion that its 30 minutes just rushed by, for sure the shortest 30 minutes of my life.
After the interval came two short films, made in collaboration with the photographer Julian Broad. The visual of Film One is that of early black and white pictures, showing a bare stage backed by a curtain lit from behind. To Rachmaninov’s Prelude in C Sharp Minor, barefoot Dana Fouras appears to summon the spirit of the early 20th-century free-dance pioneer Loie Fuller, her slow movements accompanied by unfurling flowing silk scarves.
In Film Two, which contains the only colour of the evening, Russell Maliphant is suspended at an acute angle from an orange elastic band, close enough to touch the ground, which he does, his feet propelling him in various directions while his taut body remains as straight as a board, at intervals bathed in shifting hyper-intense coloured light.
The evening ends with Maliphant’s 2018 Duet, a short, very physical work, where Maliphant and Fouras start an intense dance inside pulsating boxes of light (lighting design by Michael Hulls), before being set free to the strains of Donizetti’s aria Una Furtiva Lagrima, to engage in a love duet that seems to epitomise their perfect partnership, and finds its ideal setting in the intimate surroundings of The Coronet Theatre.
maliphantworks3 is an unmissable show for so many reasons, not least because Dana Fouras has now announced this will the last time she dances with the Russell Maliphant company. Or at all, probably.
You don’t want to miss it.
READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH RUSSELL MALIPHANT AND DANA FOURAS HERE
|What||maliphantworks3, The Coronet Theatre review|
|Where||The Coronet Theatre, Print Room, 103 Notting Hill Gate, London, W11 3LB | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Notting Hill Gate (underground)|
06 Feb 19 – 22 Feb 20, 19:30 No performance 10, 11, 16 & 17 Feb Dur.: 75 mins inc one interval
|Price||£25-£30 (concessions available) )|
|Website||Click here to book|