Review: Danish Dance Theatre, Lyceum

Danish Dance Theatre.
Danish Dance Theatre.
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THREE very different pieces have taken this company on a first UK tour for their 30th anniversary – the common thread being boundary-breaching imagination, cunning use of the physical form and some of the best lighting design around, writes David Dunn.

The latter is the icing on the cake but merely works to heighten the visual drama delivered by this small but well-drilled troupe, compiled under the auspices of British-born artistic director Tim Rushton MBE.

Danish Dance Theatre

Danish Dance Theatre

Dramatic but sometimes under-stated music and sounds provoke the mixed sex group into sometimes obscure movement that evolves into elegant fluidity that owes more to ballet than the volatile swoops and jerks of contemporary dance.

The latter surface abundantly in CaDance, a testosterone-fuelled male-only piece accompanied by live duelling drummers on a frugal stage that is generous with energy. There’s a precision and vibe that sees the dancers almost face off in a prison yard-style demeanour.

Enigma opens the set with a complicated work-out that embraces sensual duets and measured power that unleashes itself most freely and extensively in the final piece, Kridt (meaning chalk).

The longest of this sizzling Danish offering, this stunning, punishing, almost violent in places piece is also the most emotive as it sees a man on the cusp of death recalling his life, loves and losses.

Danish Dance Theatre.

Danish Dance Theatre.

A huge blackboard is integrated into an extensive visual feast as the story is told by the men and women he has known. Kridt asks much of its gifted troupe as intricate lighting again becomes the extra cast member.

Catch this potent dance treat ends its tour tonight in Sheffield.