Byline: David Adams
Interesting man, Rudolf Laban. We'd call his approach today holistic - as far as he was concerned emotions, health, education, politics and the arts were all interconnected. And as a choreographer, teacher and theorist he changed the face of contemporary dance.
Without Laban we would have neither the likes of Sioned Huws or Rubicon, to select the opposite ends of the Welsh dance spectrum. So the visit of Transitions, the troupe formed from the Laban Centre in London, is always a welcome opportunity to get back to the original ideas that informed much of what we have today: this is a group with no obvious leaders, performing in bare feet and loose casual clothes, the movement rooted in individuality and co-operation. And with an awareness of other art forms, the first piece in their Sherman programme, Soiree, owes a lot to filmmaker Luis Bunuel's critique of the chattering classes (notably The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie), although Luca Silvestrini and Bettina Strickler's choreography typically tended to the superficially cute as guests at a cocktail party descend into barking animals. Ben Wright's For the Feel of Things is based on paintings by Marc Chagall. There is music by Marc Collin and Nitin Sawhney that draws on spaghetti Westerns and Bond thrillers.
Richard Siegal's collaborative piece f(r) is based on the cultural and linguistic diversity of this multinational young company. …