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Ignite, Show Scope, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, July 14
This intriguing new production featuring recent dance graduates promised to present “the world of sport through the eyes of theatre”.
Choreographer and creator Stephanie Clarke used her athletic performers to depict various aspects of the Olympic Games, from the stately and proud torch relay through to colourful flag-twirling at the closing ceremony.
The sports on show ranged from warming-up sprinters to comedy canoeists to a grunting table-tennis doubles match that became a streetdance showdown.
The high platforms and suspended circus hoops and silks of Nigel Moon’s set enabled the creative use of multiple levels at once.
Lydia Hardiman’s simple and effective costume designs were for sportswear ideal to dance in: red, white and blue shorts, T-shirts and leotards, with accessories such as decorative swimming hats for the synchronized swimming routine.
This serene section was performed to a soundtrack of ethereal choirs and chiming bells. The elegance of the women’s elaborate arm movements and legs criss-crossing in unison was offset by their effortless strength as they slowly rose up in headstands while continuing their egg-beater leg kicks.
Composer Ethan Lewis Maltby added intensity with his rhythmic score – and seemed to hint at Ravel’s Bolero in the ice-dancing duet’s soundtrack.
It was a shame the audience wasn’t larger but the families who attended gave every sign of enjoyment – particularly the bloodthirsty little girls booing, cheering and squealing with excitement at the boxers.
The routines could have been a little shorter without losing their impact, but this energetic company is one to watch.