A review by James Buxton w for EXTRA! EXTRA!



A.D. Dance Company In Association With London's Little Opera House, presents



Between Three





Directed and Choreographed by Holly Noble

King's Head Theatre



July 24 – August 14 2011


Something special is happening in the back room of the King's Head - young theatre companies are being given a platform to express their latest experiments. Last month, it was Opera Up Close, now it's the turn of Antique Dance, a London based dance company established in 2009, helmed by Holly Noble, specializing in a fusion of classical and contemporary dance. Tonight's performance features four dance pieces.

Under a haze of indigo, a young female dancer gingerly extends her leg up to the ceiling as the heavy headed speakers regurgitate their stuttering sounds onto the stage. An industrial soundscape of broken beats and squeaking gates, combined with sweeping whirls, and robotic pirouettes. At times the company almost resemble jerking mannequins, Brett Murray looking like a young David Bowie. Their performance of Ternion is scintillating; Noble's immaculate choreography elegantly expresses the nuances of experimental sounds through a flow of elaborate contortions and gestures.

Emma Fisher's solo performance of Soporose contrasts the industrial sounds of Ternion with a melodic soundtrack by Philip Glass, inducing a fantastical atmosphere. Fisher weaves her way though Labyrinthine dance moves as the hypnotic sounds lull us into a soporific torpor. Her doll like face creates an unsettling yet fascinating correspondence with the precision of her movements.

Fawn takes its inspiration from the arresting music of Mozart, and it pulls no punches, with its overwhelming operatic urgency. You can see every single muscle is tensed in the slight trembling of the androgynous Oliver Wraith when he supports Rachel Maybank, as the cathedral-like power of the choir and organ combine with dramatic potency. Their concentration is astounding to watch as the violin carves out its defiant strain, their shadows gliding impishly across the black wall, full of poise and grace. The ambition inherent in this work is awe inspiring and nothing short of brilliant. The effort and technical skill required to sustain these moves is highly impressive, especially considering the age of the cast.

In Slowly We Collide the haunting music of Jody Talbot, sounds like an Eric Satie soundtrack to spring, imbuing the dancers with a freshness and vitality. Their arched bodies and boundless leaps are magnificent to watch as they unravel into new shapes with ease and fluidity. As each of the dancers echo each other's poses, their impeccable timing becomes apparent.

Noble's choreography combines a classical style with expressive movement, free from narrative restraints. This is inspirational dance, done by a young company who are totally dedicated to their art. The pain that the female dancers must have had to endure, wearing ballet blocks must be absolutely excruciating, yet they appear unfazed and elegant throughout. The intimacy of the space itself contributes to the intensity of the performance and provides an unmissable opportunity to see these dancers, before they perform on a stage where you'd need a mortgage to afford a ticket.


London's Little Opera House
(at the King's Head Theatre)
115 Upper Street, Islington, N1 1QN
Box Office: 020 478 0160
£15 – 22.50

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