When the opening image is of a tumbling Welsh waterfall, it’s hard to imagine that any human endeavour that follows can come close to its beauty.
National Dance Company of Wales - Theatre Royal, Glasgow
* * * * *
Yet Stephen Petronio’s Water Stories does. For every photograph of lakes, reservoirs and harbours that appears on the screen, the performers of National Dance Company Wales (NDCW) match it with movement that ebbs, flows and falls.
Petronio is known for his edgy choreography, moving between grace and grit and injecting a bold beauty into his work. The dancers in this talented company have much the same approach, making Petronio and NDCW a match made in heaven.
Next came Angelin Preljocaj, a choreographer touched by genius whose grasp of drama is almost breathtaking. Relentlessly physical, his Noces is the kind of work that leaves you exhausted just watching it.
Five couples, each designated a wooden bench and life-sized bridal puppet, thrash out a war of courtship, resistance and submission – much of which demands incredibly precise unison.
After Petronio’s New York energy and Preljocaj’s European quirkiness, the evening ended with Christopher Bruce’s resolutely British Dream. Pulling together the street party atmosphere of the Queen’s coronation, with the prowess of Olympic athletes, the sheer brilliance of Bruce’s choreography had the crowd in raptures. Witty, clever and the perfect vehicle for this wonderfully versatile company.