Bruno Beltrão: H3

29 May 2009, Sadler’s Wells, London.

521845262_5_sk0jThere were numerous quietly beautiful moments in this performance. It was an evening of powerful opposites – moments of solitude mixed with mass sections; the bare stage set against the shiny mirrored black floor; the dancers all had the stereotypical agility and explosive power of hip-hop and break dancers, but this was complemented by the fluidity you’d typically classify contemporary dancers to have.

I particularly liked how they stripped the stage down, so that you could see the bare Sadler’s Wells fittings and backstage setting. The rawness really fit Bruno Beltrão and his company well. They are a contemporary dance company from Brazil that push boundaries by fusing in different dance styles, particularly hip-hop. This is an area I’m quite interested in watching the development of, how (arguably) the two opposite ends of dance are being merged. Hip hop and ballet has been explored quite a bit now (particularly popularized by the movie Centre Stage), but the hip-hop/contemporary dance choreographic language has much room to grow (which isn’t surprising!)

I really liked the use of light near the very end. The theatre was in complete darkness except for a one-meter strip of light that hovered about a meter and a half above the stage floor. The dancers would do various jump-turns, where you’d catch their movement in the brief time that the strip of light embodies them.

Hauntingly beautiful. A company that I’d like to keep my eye on.

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