Timeless is not an answer, not a statement, not an opinion nor a single perspective. It is a question… in fact many questions. It is an attempt to see…. to feel…. to experience.… to hear…. to touch this intangible, wonder-filled thing called TIMEless…. Maybe one sees it’s time related to space, maybe one hears it as an external flow, maybe one experiences it as totally still… maybe?” says choreographer Aditi Mangaldas, who created the concept for this show.

Aditi has led her own company since 1991 in many critically acclaimed performances. She brings together classic and contemporary Indian dance in an exploration of the idea of time. The seven dancers, along with the use of percussion and vocals, bring Indian culture and art to London.

The dancers move around and between each other while often adding to the music by stamping their bare feet as they dance. They are constantly on the move and use a mixture of speech, sound and movement as they explore their universal theme – time.

It takes a while for the show to take off at the beginning with a really gradual introduction of all the dancers. The choreography can feel quite repetitive at times as they impressively swirl around the stage and their arms move in swift and artistic shapes. It is hard to tell the classic from the contemporary but that could be down to Western ignorance.  The movements are really beautifully performed and their flexibility is remarkable.

The stomping bare feet helps the earthy tone of the show and creates a very satisfying sound as they complement the drums. They brilliantly capture the rhythm of the percussion. The synchronisation between the dancers and the dancers with the musicians is extraordinary; their movement as a group and as individuals is remarkable. Nevertheless, the music and the choreography follows sameness throughout that makes it hard to differentiate between the styles.

The musicians definitely enhance the nature of the show as the music has a very authentic sound and plays really well alongside the dancers. The vocalist and the drummers are also a vital part of the performance and deliver some much needed variety to the show.

Aditi comes out to explain the concept of the show to the audience. Her fascination with time quickly rubs off on the audience as she ponders ‘Is time reversible?’ ‘Does time flow?’ and ‘Does time trip?’ among many other questions about time.

It’s a lovely introduction to another culture and their beautiful choreography. It is just a shame that it is here for such a short time.

Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company – Timeless played at Southbank Centre. For more information, see the Southbank Centre website.