Sunday, July 21, 2013


Essex Dance Theatre at the Civic Theatre

This end-of-year showcase began with the seniors in the team tee-shirt, and ended, as it must, with The Knowledge in kneepads, and a splendid set of curtain calls from a hugely talented company.
There was Lindy Hop, smiles and jive and Olly Murs, there was tap – Hit Me With A Hot Note – boogie, a lovely close-couple duo; there was even ballet. Though this did feel like tokenism, accompanied by a rehearsal piano, but beautifully danced by Rheanne Sun Wai.
Most of the work was exuberant, athletic and inventive.
From thirty pieces, space only to mention David Nurse's stylish response to Ella's At Last, with its knowing close, Jacob Holme's Black and Gold for the senior boys, and the deafening, dynamic car crash end to the first half, choreographed by Nikki O'Hara.
Claudia McKells reprised her A-level piece, an expressive interpretation of This Bitter Earth, which she performed in St Paul's Covent Garden at the memorial service for Phrosso Pfister, a longtime inspirational friend of EDT. And James, breathless at the end of an exhausting sequence, and without a monitor, gave us a rousing Jekyll and Hyde moment just before the finale.

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