Russell Maliphant at Laban Theatre

The work of dancer and choreographer Russell Maliphant was showcased at Laban Theatre on 24th and 25th November. The programme contained three works, opening with a film-screening of an early duet, Critical Mass; Maliphant himself dancing the solo, Shift; followed by the most recent AfterLight (Part 1) performed by award winning dancer Daniel Proietto.

 Russell Maliphant in Shift

A collaboration between Russell Maliphant and lighting designer, Michael Hulls, with haunting cello music by Shirley Thompson. Shift is in essence a solo, but shadows appear, vanish and reappear on the back screen multiplying the dancer, so he is never alone until the last phrase of movement when each column of light fades,  leaving Maliphant a silhouette, seeming to dissolve with the light as it slowly fades away.

Russell Maliphant in Shift










AfterLight (Part One) is inspired by the photographs and geometric circular drawings of Vaslav Nijinsky which he drew to describe his descent into psychosis. The solo is performed to piano music of Erik Satie. Michael Hulls has designed exquisite lighting, the audience are in complete darkness, (my pencil couldn’t locate my sketch book, no drawings). The dappled light falls on the dancer seeming to trap him in the shadows, as he moves he starts to spin as if casting off the darkness that enveloped him, the movement flows in spirals and circles, pools of light partially illuminating him as he moves. The climax is the dancer spinning so fast in an arc of dappled light, it is impossible to tell where his limbs end and the shadows take over. A collective sigh rose from the audience as the dancer slowed, the light faded and shadows enveloped the audience once more.

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