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Edinburgh International Festival: LA Dance Project - Moving Parts/Winterbranch/Quintett

Published Tuesday 27 August 2013 at 10:01 by Honour Bayes

Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied’s new artistic collective, L.A. Dance Project, present an evening of dance that is as moving as it is provocative.

LA Dance Project

LA Dance Project Photo: Ryan Schude

Created with fellow founding member, the composer Nico Muhly, Moving Parts is a cool statement of intent. Millepied’s dancers perform sweeping solos and lyrical duets in front of screens by artist Christopher Wool. Wool’s installation comprises of patterns and abstract shapes that the dancers extend and echo. They curate these moving boards into different configurations, fluidly becoming part of the art work itself. Muhly’s melodic but minimalist score is both playfully modern and classical and the whole piece has a timeless aesthetic.

Merce Cunningham’s sparse Winterbranch is an act of creative dissonance that becomes something remarkable. Created in 1963, this abstract piece is still so controversial it causes booing from some sections of this audience. The choreography is more akin to purposeful positioning than traditional dance. Robert Rauschenberg’s autonomous lighting design often leaves performers in darkness while spotlighting or flooding empty parts of the stage. La Mont Young’s industrial 2 Sounds provides a backdrop of scraping and rumbling. It’s a bracing but hypnotic experience - an artfully curated act of interdisciplinary minimalism.

William Forsythe’s moving Quintett was created for his dying wife, the dancer Tracy-Kai Maier. It is a poignant celebration of movement and life scored by Gavin Bryars’ sorrowful Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet. Forsythe’s choreography fizzes and sparks mischievously against the soulful repetition of Bryars’ composition. It is a delicate end to an enriching evening that triumphs in entwining disparate artistic threads.

Production information

Edinburgh Playhouse, August 24-26 (Sadler's Wells, London, October 2-4)

Nico Muhly/La Monte Young/Gavin Bryars
Benjamin Millepied/Merce Cunningham/William Forsythe (in collaboration with Dana Caspersen, Stephen Galloway, Jacopo Godani, Thomas McManus, Jone San Martin)
Aaron Carr, Julia Eichten, Charlie Hodges, Morgan Lugo, Nathan B. Makolandra, Rachelle Rafailedes, Amanda Wells
Running time:
2hrs 10mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15 2014