THREE STARS

Chalk and cheese probably have more in common than the four choreographers who showed new work in this programme – ensuring Bloom ticked useful boxes across a provocative range of styles and content.

Eve Mutso’s solo, Unknown, shone with the elegance of line, the clarity of expression and the commanding poise that was a hallmark of her career as a Principal dancer with Scottish Ballet – she left the company earlier this year and is increasingly focussing on choreography.

Loading article content

At first, you think that the triangular “cage” that drops down to corral her  has solid sides but no: Mutso is free to stretch out of its confines, even leave altogether if she chooses.

What emerges is a palpable conflict between the urge to stay, safe but unchallenged, or take risks and go – as Mutso herself has done. She continues to be compellingly watchable.

The encounters that Rosalind Masson initiates in her duet, Between, have echoes of paths crossing unintentionally and yet – as in the transference of movement motifs – making their mark on the passing strangers.

Masson and Maria Giulia Serantoni bring a nicely individual dynamic to Masson’s vocabulary of curving stretches, dips and pliant arm movements. Even without direct contact, you sense connections.

Text is a core element in the other two pieces. Ben Okri sits on the side of the stage, his words resonating with a mysticism that dancer/choreographer Charlotte Jarvis slowly, meditatively invokes in her Ballet of the Unseen.

This feels like a very personal ritual, full of a symbolism – logs, a tree, a discarded mask – that isn’t particularly accessible to us even if their presence feeds into Jarvis’s measured phases of awakening movement.

Julie Cunningham’s accompanying text erupts from the (recorded) words of Kate Tempest but Right Where You Are would still deliver its themes of gender, identity and shared traits in silence.

Cunningham and Alex Williams, both shaven-headed and dressed alike in unitards that emphasise their similarly-slender physicality, enter into episodes of elastic-limbed dance full of mirrored moves and seamless crossovers where he could be she and vice versa. It’s intense, considered and confident – radical, but with purposeful intelligence.