On-stage other connections surface: there's a shared awareness of light as an equal partner in the dance, but (perhaps unwittingly) there's also a harking back in time, a drawing of inspiration from significant talents who connected with the art and science of movement.
Both Russell Maliphant and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui invoke the presence of Nijinsky. Maliphant's Afterlight (Part One) sees lone dancer Thomasin Gulgec spiralling and stretching to the exquisite melancholy of Satie's Gnossiennes. He's caught in shrouding darkness, Michael Hulls' lighting design sends shifting eddies of light across the floor while Gulgec's noble body line ecboes Nijinsky's own photographed poses (and the drawings he made). Ravishing, and yet Gulgec's self-absorbed isolation and the encroaching patterns at his feet whisper of the febrile madness that terminated Nijinsky's career.
Cherkaoui's Faun revisits Nijinsky's L'apres-midi d'un faune in a duet where Debussy is intercut with music by Nitin Sawney, colouring the encounter between nymph and faun with shades of Indian myth. There's a feral edge to the coupling between James O'Hara and Daisy Philips, made even more magical by their effortlessly pliant limbs and joyfully innocent sensuality.
UNDANCE - a bold and complex collaboration between choreographer Wayne McGregor, composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and artist Mark Wallinger - echoes the early analytical investigations into movement by photographer Eadweard Muybridge, even to the point where the flicka-flacka of a zoetrope becomes part of the mapping and framing of the choreography's seemingly everyday running, skipping, jumping. It's a sharp (and to the ears, abrasive) contrast to the other works, but the precision and articulation of all ten dancers makes UNDANCE equally compelling.