Five world premieres and one UK premiere isn’t a bad haul for a company debut. It demonstrates a high degree of confidence in the talents involved. Charlotte Broom and Christopher Akrill are the curators, producers and dancers within their newly-created HeadSpaceDance company and they bring ingenuity and flair as well as technical precision to their opening showcase.
Charlotte Broom, Clemmie Sveaas and Christopher Akrill in Studies In M by Javier De Frutos from Three and Four Quarters at the Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House, London Photo: Tristram Kenton
With guest dancer Clemmie Sveaas, the pair has conjured a programme consisting of three solos, a pair of trios and a duet from choreographers including Javier de Frutos, Luca Silvestrini and Mats Ek. In an intriguingly varied but coherent evening, the three open with the fractured symmetry of De Frutos’s quietly mischievous trio - suggesting polygamous complications. Upper bodywork and convulsive movements are spliced into harmonious hand-holding trios and interspersed with uncomfortable moments of silent confrontation. Much easier to read is Silvestrini’s depiction of the dancer’s lot both off and on stage, apparently inspired by the trio’s own experiences. Shards of dialogue and ego-shattering rehearsal jostle with the many different ways of taking a curtain call and concluding with an elegant pas de deux while the third dancer shadows the movements of her two colleagues.
Of the three solos by Didy Veldman, I loved Broom’s romping manoeuvres across and beneath a huge duvet and Sveaas’s intense, tormented contortions in slatted lightbeams. They finish well with Mats Ek’s reworking of the duet from his 1991 piece Light Beings - a sunny, innocent frolic of joyful romanticism that is a sustained expression of delight.
On this showing, HeadSpaceDance is a welcome addition to the world of independent dance. A little group with a big future.