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CandoCo Dance Company – Microphobia/ The Human Suite review at The Riley Theatre Leeds and touring

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The CandoCo company looks on the Northern School of Contemporary Dance as something close to a spiritual home. So there is no more appropriate place than the Riley Theatre, the NSCD’s performance space, for CandoCo to premiere its new double bill.

CandoCo’s programme opens with Microphobia, a physical theatre entertainment choreographed by two members of Protein Dance. Then there is Stephen Petronio’s The Human Suite, an intense and emotive piece.

Society’s obsession with analysing every word or action is the essence of Microphobia. There are mock counselling sessions wherein the dialogue is familiar, and even deep meaningful discussions about the nature of the company and of dance. Sports are depicted in cartoonish movements and sports commentators are treated with sublime mischief. A sequence based on the microphone mannerisms of celebs and singers is wickedly funny.

Danced initially to the voice of Johnny Cash, singing The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, The Human Suite goes on use Tartini’s overly strident The Devil’s Sonata. Pedro Machado and Stine Nilsen dance a potent duet to Cash’s singing.

The dancers are all clad in loose white shirts and ties and are bare of leg. Everyday gestures and body language are the inspirations. The dancers keep a persistent group identity but there is much individual examination and elaboration within the group. They are lined up as if for a sculptor’s eye and they huddle together as if waiting to be fixed on a plinth. The fascination only stops when the dancers take their bows.

Production Information

The Riley Theatre, Leeds and touring, January 24, then touring

Luca Silvestrini, Bettina Strickler/Stephen Petronio
CandoCo Dance Company
Cast includes
Marc Brew, Pedro Machado, Chisato Minamimura, Stine Nilsen
Running time
1hr 20mins

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