The atmosphere at the Opera House for Rafael Bonachela’s Spring Dance is surprisingly festival-esque – audience members exit one show to enter the next; crowds line up to buy merch from the bar (I [heart] Spring Dance badges glitter throughout the foyer); and punters linger on lounges between shows with a glass of bubbly, catching a glimpse of the dancers projected over the walls.
This festival vibe aids in encouraging an open mind amongst audiences; a state that is of benefit to Spring Dance’s most multi-artform production, Melanie Lane and Antony Hamilton’s Clouds Above Berlin.
The first act of this double bill, Lane's Tilted Fawn, presents a simple but captivating world of experiment and child’s play. Whilst the monotone of the performance is surprisingly intriguing, Tilted Fawn’s brief flashes of movement are a welcome interruption. In this interlude, Lane moves with skill and precision in ways that not only appear to defy gravity, but makes ones ankles hurt in observing.
Hamilton's Black Project 1 is the antidote for any feelings of dissatisfaction from the slow pace of the first act. Black Project 1 gives us a post-apocalyptic world, mesmerizing in its synchronicity. The two dancers move across the stage to a haunting soundtrack, with moments of revelation in which one is unsure what is lights, projections or paint.
The most cross-artform of the Spring Dance season, Clouds Above Berlin involves many beautiful moments, from the simple swinging of sound in a box to highly detailed (and just plain cool) projection mapping. The downfall lies in that many of the finest ideas of the show are sustained too long, minimising their affect.