Dance review: Dance GB, Theatre Royal, Glasgow

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PUTTING together a mixed bill is like planning the perfect dinner party. One dish complements the next, until your guests are suitably satisfied.

Dance GB

Theatre Royal, Glasgow

*****

What happens when three artistic directors, three choreographers and three dance companies try to assemble a triple-bill on their own terms, in their own way, without seeing what the other is doing?

The result could easily have been a haphazard mix of badly matched works. Instead, Dance GB took us in three opposing but entirely complementary directions, showcasing the remarkable talent at play on the British dance scene today.

Scottish Ballet opened the night with Run For It, a fast-paced, athletic piece by Martin Lawrance that set the bar suitably high for an occasion of this stature. Beneath an imposing installation by Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Boyce, the dancers delivered the kind of leaps, lifts and leg stretches that left you in no doubt of this company’s quality.

The undisputed crowd-pleaser of the night followed, in the form of Christopher Bruce’s witty and charming Dream. Turning a 1940s sports day into a quest for triumph, National Dance Company Wales had us in the palm of its hands.

Unsurprisingly for a choreographer who also doubles as a lighting designer, Itzik Galili’s new work, And the Earth Shall Bear Again, was dripping in atmosphere. Dark and gripping, it was the perfect vehicle to show off the phenomenal technique of the English National Ballet dancers.

How Team GB fairs in August is still unknown, but for Dance GB, the result is pure gold.