Between Three, the latest project by London-based Antique Dances, offers an evening of technical and artistic variety, and showcases the talents of an accomplished set of performers. The show, which lasts just over an hour, constantly traverses the boundaries between classical and contemporary styles, and does so without feeling in any way disjointed.
As its title suggests, Between Three comprises of a trilogy of works, each with its own distinctive style and flavour. The first section, entitled Slowly We Collide, features the music of celebrated British composer Joby Talbot. This classically-influenced routine utilises the company’s six dancers in an array of different arrangements, including duets, trios and quartets. A refreshingly sanguine piece, it becomes increasingly flamboyant as it progresses, and offers an introductory exhibition of the dancers’ skills.
The second piece, Ternion, first shown in Liverpool in 2010, is far more fluent than the proceeding set. Choreographed to the music of Chris Clark, it features a series of swift routines which are as arresting as they are melancholic. Much of the piece focuses on a set of pas de deux, and it is in this section that the group’s founder, Holly Noble, comes into her own. The frenetic motions complement Clark’s stark electronic pulses, creating an almost hypnotic effect. As the most contemporary of the three sections, Ternion is sometimes mechanic, but remains captivating throughout.
The third and final work, FAWN, is the only entirely new piece in the show. Utilising Mozart’s Requiem as its score, it manages to enrich a conventional classical form by adding subtle modern flourishes. FAWN allows the company to show off their technical versatility, and is at times a remarkably striking performance. Emma Fisher is particularly impressive in this component; her flowing, dramatic performance is enchanting in its delicacy. Of the three sections, FAWN is noticeably less refined than the previous two, but this is almost certainly down to its relative freshness.
As impressive as some of the choreography is, one cannot help wondering how much Between Three would be improved by being staged in a venue somewhat larger than the King’s Head. The versatility of some of the dancers makes one long to see them set free in an open space, as the confines of the room seem to inhibit them somewhat. However, for a company that is barely two years old, the professionalism of this production is remarkable. Not all the dancers are equally polished, but there is definitely much to be enjoyed in this diverse evening of entertainment.
Between Three is playing at the Kings Head Theatre until 14th August. For more information and tickets, see the website here.