NATIONAL Dance Company Wales Terra Firma triple bill at Newport comprised Caroline Finn’s Folk, Mario Bermundez-Gil’s Atalaÿ and Marcos Morau’s Tundra, united by Joe Fletcher’s moody lighting.

In Folk, the surprise element has been moved from later in the choreography to almost immediately the action opens. The roots of the tree are suspended over the stage, leave shave fallen and are swept up at the beginning and at the end. This is a more organise chaos work with dancer flying off in their own worlds, their own outcries, their own moments of hysteria. There is the on looking from the community, sometimes disapproving, sometimes supportive and sometimes just, well, there.

In Atalaÿ, two women and two chaps dress in costumes from Brighde Penn that conjure up Anatolian folk; baggy pants, short tunics, thick leather belts and the entire choreography weaves a hypnotic world of the cultures of what is now Turkey but redolent of Asiatic peoples, music, dance languages and intertwining cultures and religions. It is fast moving and captivating.

There did seem a little less edge to what should have been the bigger hitter, Tundra, which wowed everyone in 2017. The movement of dancers in a robotic style for the opening. Skirts are abandoned and the dancers reappear in tight-fitting, multi coloured outfits from designer Angharad Matthews, reminiscent of knitted costumes from freezing environments. Patterns emerge, interlocking hands and feet create writhing snake-like designs, interspersed with break outs where one or other performer steps away only to be reabsorbed into the communal melding.

Excellent dance that deserves a much larger audience.

For the rest of the tour dates visit:

Mike Smith