Adelaide Festival Review: Sadeh21

Sadeh21. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Sadeh21, presented by the Batsheva Dance Company, is an impressive display of human movement against a gentle, flowing soundtrack by Maxim Waratt.


Sadeh21. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Sadeh21. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Presented by Batsheva Dance Company
Reviewed 5 March 2014

Sadeh21, presented by the Batsheva Dance Company, is an impressive display of human movement choreographed by Ohad Naharin to a gentle, flowing soundtrack by Maxim Waratt.

The performance begins with Sadeh1, where each performer presents a solo piece on stage, and works its way through a journey to the climax of Sadeh21. The production doesn’t hesitate in highlighting the talent of the entire ensemble, all of whom stand out from the basic surroundings as they move through the, for the most part, soft, string music.

A solid, backdrop akin to a cement wall runs the length of the stage. Four similar pillars are at each edge of the stage. The design is the work of Avi Yona Bueno. The simplicity of this surrounding works effectively with Avi’s subtle lighting changes to capture and shadow the movements of each dancer.

The costumes, by Ariel Cohen, are similarly simple and have a focus on darker colours that consistently allow for the movement of the dancers to be the focus of the show. The occasional change in costumes and a sudden dash of brighter colours bounce nicely off the smooth light changes to add a stark and short-lived contrast to the show.

The precision and physical strength shown by all the dancers is a credit to the show and the dancers themselves. Their skills are displayed wonderfully through alternations of complex and simple movements although it is the more simple movements that are the most striking.

A sensual, sexual element also appears in the show in a tasteful manner through intimate movements between the dancers. There is a presence of fluid sexuality shown in the continuous partner and group switches during this section of the show. This is featured craftily without dropping the production into a political statement.

Once Sadeh21 is reached the dancers breach the constraints of the background, climb on top of the back wall and launch themselves into the darkness of back stage. This addition of height and the powerful shadows created by the dancers’ bodies provides greater depth to the flow of the show as it draws towards its close.

Reviewed by Alex Dunkin

Venue: Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, King William, Road Adelaide
Season: 5 – 8 March 2014
Duration: 1hr 15mins (no interval)
Tickets: $59.00 – $109.00
Bookings: Book through BASS online or phone 131 241


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