Following on from his two recent one-man shows, David Hughes has recruited three other dancers to join him in the new Edinburgh-based David Hughes Dance Company. Even so, their four-part programme includes two solos for Hughes, carried forward from previous ventures. No wonder that Siobhan Davies’ version for him of Debussy’s L’Apres-midi d’un faune, although pleasant enough in poses and gestures, contains too many ‘resting steps’ flat on the floor to compare fully with more active treatments by Nijinsky, Robbins and Kylian.
The most striking feature of the fidgety movement in El uno y medio, with choreography by Javier de Frutos to flamenco music, is that Hughes twice strolls disconcertingly offstage and on again to no apparent purpose. It is difficult to believe we would guess, without a programme note, that this dance is meant to show Jason mourning his children. The speared paintings in Jean-Marc Puissant’s designs are too enigmatic to help much, and angled out of sight for many spectators.
Hughes’s widely diverse past experience seems to leave him floundering for a style, shape or purpose in his own first choreography, called In Company. The recorded Vivaldi music is its most attractive feature, but none too closely observed by the proliferating turns, jumps and high kicks.
The new dancers (Rachel Morrow, Kally Lloyd-Jones and young Alan Lambie) hold their own against the boss in this and in Rafael Bonachela’s group dance 4:Freeze-Frame - the evening’s best number. Its assemblage of 13th century and new music might seem odd, and Txela’s black mini-frocks for everyone don’t flatter the men, but there is a variety of movement that responds to the score, and the couplings include some interesting quietly quarrelsome confrontations.