Nitty Gritty

I like grit. Something I realised when watching Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet on Tuesday. I admired the dancers’ technical ability, clean lines and characterisation of the roles, but for me it was all a bit too nice. Nice being a word, that I don’t particularly like to use, because when you describe something as being nice, that’s exactly what it is… nice, nothing more, nothing less just plain ‘ol nice.

True, ‘Indigo Rose’ the first piece in the triple bill looked fun to dance, as did the final piece ‘Necessity, Again’, a piece that was evocative of dance theatre with the dancers undertaking character roles. However, as I previously said it was all just nice. There was nothing that made me lean eagerly forward in my seat with a grin plastered across my face. Or a moment which was so intensely hard hitting that I was unsure whether I had fully understood it, or was instead completely dazed. I find it hard to verbalise what exactly the show was missing, but for me it just wasn’t quite perfect. Ironic, because the dancers were undeniably perfect in their execution of the choreography.

Naturally people will disagree with me, but I’m sticking by my guns and saying that it wasn’t gritty enough. It wasn’t raw, stricken with so much passion that the movement was too much for the dancers to control let alone perfect. There was no loss of control, no muddying between instinct and choreographed steps, no sense of strained effort. ‘It just wasn’t gritty’ I think is the only way I can explain my reaction to Cedar Lake. Maybe, with further viewings I will change my mind, but for now I would just like more grit…


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