BY MORAG PHILLIPS
[star rating =5/5]
Rootless is a cultural exploration breaking the Myth that the apple does not fall far from the tree.
This spectacular performance is well worth the walk down to Stockbridge. With a fantastic ensemble of musicians, singers and dancers bringing us Flamenco, Egyptian and Indian dance.
The dancers a wonderful mesh of movement intertwining the three styles and using the many similarities to bind the choreography together as if by fine silk thread. Likewise, do the musicians with the enchanting combination of Sitar, Guitar, Percussion and Voice.
Within the Flamenco we can see the sinuous arm and body movements of the Egyptian belly dancer combined with the feet stamping and hand movements and iconic poses of the Indian dancer. Each dance style compliments each other. Through the dancers delight at working together, we see how throughout history people have overcome war and domination by the use of dance and music – using it to absorb and integrate and to evolve.
There is a musical interlude in which the audience are mesmerised by the beautiful tones of the Sitar and carried down to Andalusia with this impressive guitarist. The percussion enters your body and you find yourself wanting to stand up and dance.
Each dancer then completes an exceptional solo performance, in each of the dance styles.
The Indian dancer GABY ALBORNOZ comes on first, her anklets jingle; her dance from South India is based on temple dances of the Devadasis. The Bharatanatyam is one of the most ancient of Indian dances and many of the movements can be recognised from ancient murals.
Next we have a seductive Egyptian belly dance from IRAYA NOBLE. Beautifully costumed and with an amazingly supple midriff; we are entertained by subtle, sensual movements building up into a frenzied ending. Belly dance varies from country to country and the Egyptians use more of the whole body – using undulation, and expressive arm movements as well as the familiar hip movements.
Last but not least we have the impressive Flamenco from INMA MONTERO. Within the dance we see the threads of the Indian footwork metamorphosed into a cacophony of beats and stamps getting ever faster. The expression on the dancers face is intense as she takes us into her passion, her desire, her angst. In her upper body you see glimpses of Egyptian sensuality as her arms and hands swirl in gyro tonic grace.
Rootless certainly does prove that we are not rootless, we form fresh new roots. We are a global civilisation that move and merge and form new branches throughout history and indeed the future.
I really hope this company comes together again soon and perhaps in a smaller more intimate venue. This kind of dancing, apart from perhaps the Indian dance, is traditionally danced in small spaces near to the audience. This venue was large and airy but lacked atmosphere. However it has to be said that in terms of providing atmosphere these performers really did themselves proud.