Review: ‘Switch’ by ACE Dance and Music

The opening sequence of ACE Dance and Musics latest production Switch is full of energy, creativity and promise.

Six athletic dancers occupy individual squares of checkered light and the scratchy flickering-light-bulb music introduces us to a world of juts and starts with throwing limbs and menacing stares to the audience forming the staple of this new collaboration of choreography from artistic director of the company Gail Permel and Andile Sotiya.

Photo: Graeme Braidwood

Photo: Graeme Braidwood

But as the dance progresses this channelled energy becomes repetitive, and while there are truly brilliant individual movements, the unrelenting fast pace of the dance means these moments are missed. Though the programme tells us the piece is about a switchboard with the dancers passing on power between each other something of the motivation behind the piece seems to get lost along the way.

Yet there was something captivating about the whole piece with some outstanding leaps by Sade Alleyne and later a beautifully soft duet by herself and Yu Yu Rau giving some depth and fluidity to the piece.

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Photo: Graeme Braidwood

The hard-hitting power sessions were interrupted by some slow walks and play between bodies and light to low bass-line reverberations. There were tribal elements to the choreography with the low lunges with high fisted hands. More of this style filtered into the dancing would add character to the movements which at times appeared robotic.

But for a packed out audience at Solihull Arts Complex on a Tuesday night, ACE Dance and Musics new works was a mesmerising addition to the regions contemporary repertoire, and well worth catching up with their next performance in Birmingham on Friday 6 November at the Drum in Aston.