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Joss Arnott Dance: 5|0 review at Artsdepot, London – ‘sharply executed triple bill’

Joss Arnott Dance: 5|0. Photo: Brian Slater Joss Arnott Dance: 5|0. Photo: Brian Slater

In celebration of the company’s 5th birthday and Evelyn Glennie’s 50th, Joss Arnott Dance has taken on tour a new triple bill, 5|0. Danced by his trademark all-female cast, Arnott continues his reputation for creating high-octane choreography with an athletic, punchy style.

The highlight of the bill is Wide Awakening, where Glennie’s live performance is a force to be reckoned with. As she flies across her drum set, her movements almost complement those of the dancers. A musician celebrated for her pioneering career as a solo percussionist, Glennie’s loud and explosive score is the perfect pairing to Arnott’s choreography. Created in collaboration with Arnott’s regular composer, James Keane, the complex rhythms drive the pace of the piece. The dancers’ bodies respond to the beat, each movement remarkably in sync.

In comparison to Wide Awakening, the opening quartet, 24, is a mere warm-up act. Powerful bursts of movement are littered with deep plies and spiralling contortions of the body. It’s a style that typifies Arnott’s work, as does his penchant for sporadic lighting and energetic, full company sequences.

However V, a solo work performed by dancer Emily Pottage, stands out with its precisely executed choreography. Simply staged, the focus is on the beauty of movement in this elegant, explorative work that pushes the body past its natural points of extension.

While all three works are exquisite to watch, it’s with Glennie’s presence that Arnott’s choreography truly comes alive. The outbreaks of applause throughout Wide Awakening say it all.

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A sharply executed triple bill enlivened Evelyn Glennie’s performance