So following on from yesterday...
As the lights dimmed I felt a strange sense of security which I hadn't felt all evening. I guess all of a sudden I was no longer feeling like a rouge, rather part of a unified audience gathered for the very same purpose. No longer was I an outsider, I felt like I was starting to blend in. My lack of technical knowledge didn't matter anymore either, and the fact that I knew nobody around me had now become irrelevant. I could just sit back and enjoy the show. I must admit, I still didn't know what to expect, but I was still very excited to be seeing something like this.
With the lights dimmed a pattering of bare feet rumbled across the floor as about ten dancers took their places for the opening routine called "First Steps", which was one of Liam's two pieces. I really liked this dance it was smooth, elegant and extremely diverse. I appreciate that it wasn't the most technical but it had a real warmth to it. In my mind there is always more warmth in group numbers, as you start to appreciate relationships and interaction between the dancers. It also brings to light the intensive discipline required when performing, as timing and placement is everything. That of course is without taking into account the difficulty of the movement and flexibility that is required of the dancer which must put a lot of physical strain on the body.
Already I felt so much more relaxed, I had already sunken into a state of sheer awe at the ability of the dancers I had seen, and we were only a matter of minutes into the performance. I was loving it, I felt invigorated, inspired and refreshed, and with the evening still young I had a feeling that by the end, I would be speechless.
Whilst I was very much in support of Liam, I couldn't help but notice as the evening progressed that there was nobody at fault. To date I have never been to a show where I could say that every performer was perfect. I think this is where my lack of technical knowledge is fantastic. I take everything I see at face value, which means I am not looking to analyse the work, rather just enjoy it, which is a really nice feeling.
Something I did note however... a stand out performance came from a third year student by the name of Ashley Orwin. He just looked so happy to be performing, and his smile completely infectious. He really came to life in "Diversion Of Angels" which was the final piece of the night however was on form all evening and just seemed to be having so much fun. It's so nice to see a performance like that and it makes such a huge difference to the audience to watch someone like that.
Anyhow... I talked of Ashley's smile. Seems irrelevant doesn't it? But I assure you, its not irrelevant at all. Never before had i noticed the importance of facial expressions and body language in dance. After all dance isn't just a series of choreographed movements. It is filled with so much emotion, and furthermore each routine tells a story. This requires more than the movements, body language alone can create imagery to set the mood of the piece being performed in an instant.
A piece which captured a much deeper and darker side of emotional spectrum was "Brahman", which incidentally was Liam's 2nd piece of the evening. It happens to be one of my favorite routines of the performance too. It was packed with short sharp movements and ever changing relationships among the dancers. With such depth and mystery to it, I couldn't help but be drawn in. At times it reminded me of the fight sequences in the awesomely choreographed "West Side Story", though I really don't know why. Maybe it was down to the way in which the dancers interacted with one another or possibly the heightened senses brought by the darkness and mystery within the routine. Either way it was fantastic and really demonstrated the pressures placed upon the body during dance and the strength required to perform to that standard.
Its impossible to single out the best dance or the best dancer of the evening but I guess I really should try. Of course Liam is and will remain my favorite purely for the positive influence he has played on my life both inside and outside of performing. He was absolutely superb an exceeded all expectations I had of him. You can see the energy, passion and hard work which he and indeed everyone has put into the show to make it happen. I was left breathless by it all. If I had to name two dancers who really did shine in addition to Liam it would be Josh Ben-Tovim and Ashley Orwin. So look out for those names someday because they will make it far... I am sure of that.
Anyhow, as the show drew to an end, I slowly made my way out to the main gates into the quiet and secluded side road in which Rambert is situated. But something didn't feel right. I checked my pockets... wallet, keys, phones... I wasn't missing anything, but I somehow just couldn't walk away. Why? Well that will all become apparent next time....