DANCE | NSCD’s VERVE19 at the Riley Theatre

Noa Zuk and Ohad Fishof’s restaging of Shutdown for VERVE19

Northern School of Contemporary Dance’s VERVE company presented four new works by internationally acclaimed choreographers at the RILEY THEATRE in Leeds before setting out on a UK tour. Review: VANESSA MUDD.

When you spot more than one dance company artistic director in the audience, you know you are in for something special. The Northern School of Contemporary Dance‘s Verve19 showcase in the Riley Theatre did not disappoint.

Combining acrobatic agility with strength, silence with stillness, The Sea Tells a Story wasn’t afraid to bombard the audience with frenetic energy. Choreographed by Ben Wright this was a work devoted to individualism and human dignity in the face of the crowd.

Compelling... Maxine Doyle's 4:18
Compelling… Maxine Doyle‘s 4:18

Picking up the theme, Maxine Doyle’s 4:18 was a compelling Dystopian dreamscape which sizzled with anger and anxiety. Dancers paired up and divided as the atmosphere swung from aggression towards tenderness then back again. It made uncomfortable, mesmerising watching.

The second half opened with Team V by Joan Clevillé. A playful piece, full of movement and energy, which began by breaking the fourth wall and making us laugh, before switching moods to explore hidden desire and unrequited love.

Noa Zuk and Ohad Fishof’s restaging of their work Shutdown was a carnival style spectacle of bright colours and busy hypnotic combinations. Voice and pattern were used in such a way to create structured mayhem, the frenetic pace demanding our full attention. In due course melancholy darkness set in as the piece transitioned into an overwhelming sense of despair.

The ideas and emotions raised were accessible; the dancing skilful and engaging. As well as providing opportunities for its postgraduate dancers, Verve allows audiences to sample a range of pieces in a compact user friendly way. Perfect for novices as well as artistic directors out talent spotting in fact!

VERVE19 returns to the Riley Theatre at NSCD on Saturday 8th June, 7:30pm. Tickets available soon here.