Diversions in 'Practice Paradise'
Sharp contrasts from Diversions
The performance of Welsh dance company, 'Diversions', that took place in Silesian Dance Theatre on 4.07.2007 was a great example of a fusion of ballet technique mixed with contemporary elements.
The two pieces on display were created by different choreographers and possessed contrasting characters. The first,'Practice Paradise', choreographed by Stijn Celis, was actually a kind of [scene]visual joke. The performers danced to Chopin's score for 'Les Sylphides', but instead of gentle, floating ballerinas, we admired male dancers in red dresses with corsets. There were a few women on stage as well, but the difference between male and female performers was barely visible in unisex costumes.
The group proved they have a wonderful comic talent. They were playing with ballet conventions, using typical figures in a satirical way, for example by exchanging roles between the sexes – we could see partnerships involving male dancer dressed up like a woman and his female partner dressed up like a man. While the comical effect was evident, this did not stop the performers presenting a high level of technical skill.
The second piece, 'Peeled', choreographed by Itzik Galili, illustrated the important role of lighting in his output. Also here the light was astonishing – it almost created its own show, as interesting as the dance itself. Changing colors, following the dancers, guiding them across the stage – it was definitely not just background, but an integrated part of the performance, an eleventh dancer we could say.
The music, composed specially for the work by 'Percosa' percussion group, was fast, rhythmic and made a strong impression, emphasised by the way the movement followed the music – also fast, sometimes even rapid, but not chaotic in anyway.
The theme of 'Peeled' was searching for your personality, and self – confidence. It was given in dance by oscillating between unison and individual movement. The group started to move together, then someone found their own vocabulary, with the others then following, until another dancer introduced their own way of moving. It did not stop to be interesting even for a minute.
Each of these performances is a masterpiece in itself, but seen together on one-evening, the show was fabulous. This snapshot suggested that Diversions company has an impressive variety in their repertoire and it commands our admiration that the same dancers can excel in a range of work by different choreographers.