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Review: Dance

Nederlands Dans Theater 2

INTRIGUING COMBINATIONS: Nederlands Dans Theatre 2 perform Johan Inger's I New Then at Edinburgh Festival Theatre. Picture: Gordon Terrris
INTRIGUING COMBINATIONS: Nederlands Dans Theatre 2 perform Johan Inger's I New Then at Edinburgh Festival Theatre. Picture: Gordon Terrris

Nederlands Dans Theater 2

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Mary Brennan

Whoever else is on-stage in this intriguingly mixed bill, there is always one constant partner: light. In Sara (2013), it travels in soft golden washes over the lone female figure who is distanced, perhaps outcast, from the tight-knit cluster of bodies nearby. It hints at time passing: briefly illuminates the moments when one of the group breaks out of the toddling shuffle that links them with the isolated female who edges, stretches and convulses ahead of them.

Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar have choreographed a strangely sad and eerie little vignette but it lingers in the mind, not least because of how the young NDT2 dancers transcend the unflattering body-skin costumes.

Everyday clothes, however, for Johan Inger's I New Then (2012) where music by Van Morrison underpins the growing pains of loners and lovers in a group where - with four girls and five boys - there's always an odd one out.

It's frolicsome, humorous but - with the light playing gooseberry amid the forest of steel poles - we see the loner seduce another guy's girl... Van the Man's voice falls silent as the jealous, lovelorn swain yowls and howls and wrenches in despair. Ouch.

Two pieces by Lightfoot/Leon are the icing on the cake, showcasing the tremendous poise, precision and technical aplomb of the company.

Shutters Shut (2003), sees Imre Van Opstal and Fernando Troya sweetly-swiftly semaphore the rhythms of Gertrude Stein in just four, whimsical minutes while the opening work, Postscript (2005), is where the light not only defines the space and frames the dancers, it offers up the subtext of counterpoint and opposition that runs through everything, from black-and-white costuming to Glass's music (played live) and the juxtapositioning of stillness with duets and trios. Illuminating dance - sadly over.

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