DANCE REVIEW: Phoenix Dance present Reflected, Liverpool Playhouse
WITH a brand spanking new studio to prepare in Phoenix Dance say from now on the only limit to their work will be their imaginations so this charismatic programme of four diverse pieces includes one centred around aerial movement, something the Leeds-based company has never done before.
Melt, by Phoenix's artistic director Sharon Watson, draws on the visual effect of elements colliding - the dancers shape-shifting to the primeval-meets-pop sounds of Mercury-nominated Wild Beasts as fire comes into contact with ice.
While the bungees form an integral part of the work the horizontal plane is not forgotten - white-clothed dancers spinning like through the air while the others cavort at ground level to strikingly beautiful effect.
In contrast, Richard Wherlock's Switch is kaleidoscopic, with the performers, resembling malleable highlighter pens, moving between passionate and playful.
The agony and drama of Amy Winehouse's early music provide the emotional setting for Philip Taylor's What It Is, named after a track on the troubled singer's first album, Frank.
The song's original demo version and the MJ Cole remix of F--- Me Pumps are used as the soundtrack to a tale of relationships and heartbreak - unrequited love, newfound passion and rejection told through choreography that exudes raw emotion.
Short bursts of dialogue were interspersed with the music in Pave Up Paradise, conceived by dance duo Lost Dog.
There was a real spark of electricity between dancers Azzurra Ardovini and Ryu Suzuki in an irreverent work that was both cheeky and passionate, ending on a caress.
Four out of five stars
Watch a videos of rehearsals for href="http://www.youtube.com/user/phoenixdancetheatre#p/a/u/2/BoplvuyNWTs">Melt,