University of Chichester

This year’s Mapdance line-up impressed once again, performing a range of abstract and inventive works by five accomplished choreographers.

The company, a group of 13 dancers studying the University of Chichester’s Master’s Degree in Performance Dance, demonstrated brilliant professionalism by tackling the sheer range of movement material alone in tonight’s performance at the University’s ShowRoom.

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The show opened with Schemes, Dreams and Machines, an elegant creation by Lîla Dance’s Abi Mortimer, senior lecturer in Dance at the University. The piece played upon the artistry of Leonardo da Vinci. Dancers urgently formed architectural designs, tumbling with rippling canon effect in and out of freeze-frame moments. They attempted to manipulate each other into aesthetically pleasing images, before it all became too much for one subject, who decided he would rather move with undulating joy to the euphoric Etta James’s At Last.

Jonathan Burrows’ Everything all at Once, Everywhere was a highly gestural look at the transition from ‘simple non-spectacular elements to… deceptive virtuosity.’ The dancers all began by enjoying the most uninspired of movements – clicks, points, small hops, sits and stands and nonchalant falls. As the dancers began to pair off, we noticed language emerging; gestural sequences became tremendously complex, with precise rhythm and pointed looks. Whether this tricked us into witnessing ‘virtuosity’ was questionable, but the dancers shone nonetheless.

After the beautiful but intense Kerry Nicholls’s Nailed and Nick Rodine’s moody Two Halves and a Crossfade, Ofra Idel’s The One offered a chaotic contrast: a total medley of sexual politics, drama and humour. What began as a sombre nod to institutionalisation became an intense duet between performers Ashley Jordan and Ane Iselin Brogeland, who committed no end in their portrayal of a desperately troubled relationship. Despite Brogeland becoming the victim, she eventually had the last laugh, taunting Jordan’s fetishes with an army of female associates sporting high heels. The audience rejoiced at the mock wedding finale – complete with a sing-off, a punch-up and healthy dose of confetti.

By Charlotte Constable @Charlotte_KC