Last week, I went to see ‘Atomos’, a contemporary dance show by British choreographer Wayne McGregor with his company Random Dance.
Even before seeing the piece, I knew it was going to be special. I find Wayne McGregor’s work incredibly inspiring and so different from any other choreographers’.
‘Atomos’ opened with the dancers moving inside a red square projected onto the floor. As they started gradually emerging from the square, the transition made me think of something being born, perhaps even the beginnings of life on earth itself.
For me, the theme that stood out most during the show was, as suggested by the title, atoms: their evolution and their role in the creation of energy. This was particularly shown through the stunning duets, some of which reminded me of the energy between protons and neutrons.
Throughout the performance, I was trying to find explanations for the beautiful, fluid moves created by the dancers – their sentences – and I was definitely helped by the technology that was involved in the choreography.
The lighting, by Lucy Carter, was very restrained and simple, but at the same time gorgeous and a perfect fit for the piece. There were moments when the stage was bathed in red; later, the light was refracted in different shades. The music, by the duo A Winged Victory For The Sullen, was, like the lighting, simple with a haunting air to it. It was sometimes a rippling piano, sometimes eerie strings, sometimes a pulsating heartbeat.
Another important part of the technology was the 3D screens, which also helped to explain what was happening on stage. At first it was dificult to keep an eye on the screens whilst trying to watch the performers, but quickly the images on the screens merged with the dance, and enhanced it.
Atomos was captivating; the audience was holding its breath during the whole show. This performance definitely made me think differently about choreography, and what you can do, say, or express through it.
If you want to find out more about Wayne McGregor and Random Dance, go to http://www.randomdance.org