Tomorrow, The Place, 5th April 2013
Featured Image: David Gerrard
Jasmin Vardimon is known for her creativity and talent, but more so than ever she is getting a name for herself in terms of how she contributes to the growing contemporary dance world, and on a bigger scale the world of theatre. From setting up programmes at the University of Wolverhampton and Royal Holloway University of London, comes her new opportunity for young dancers – the Jasmin Vardimon Professional Development Certificate. This 25-week course assists in giving dancers the experience of working in a professional dance company. After classes in repertory, choreography, technique and other classes, which help to give Vardimon her unique theatricality, the company tour under the name of JV2.
In their debut tour across the UK they present a triple bill. The first two pieces are choreographed by former artist and current dancer from the Jasmin Vardimon Company – Mafalda Deville and Tim Casson. The final piece captures scenes from Vardimon’s memorable works – Park, Justitia, 7734 and Yesterday, giving these moments a new sense of energy with this memorable cast. Each piece shows personality, wit and emotion. In the second piece, an array of props is used, which helps to communicate recognisable characters and situations. A male/female duo is dressed in what can only be described as a hillbilly costume, fighting over the man’s hat, which looks like a skunk! These different situations are all brought together by a knocked out Joe Garbett, dressed in boxing gloves, a vest and boxing shorts, staggering about the space. The use of theatre winds seamlessly with the movement vocabulary that fully embodies the dancers. A female dancer, for example, fluidly moves across the space, embodying the fake fish contained in a plastic bag.
In each of the pieces the dancers work together as such a strong unit, demonstrating theatrical skill but also proving that Vardimon has trained them vigorously in contemporary dance, truly perfecting Vardimon’s signature move of slamming into the ground. Their strength as an ensemble is something to be applauded in such a commercially competitive day and age where people are fighting to be seen in a crowded studio. The dancers show a care for each other and a remarkable sense of awareness – especially seen in the last piece as the female dancers shuffle to the front of the stage, with their eyes closed and the three male dancers run towards them to drag them back, leaving behind a gush of feathers to float in the interrupted air.
What gives me such a huge interest in this display of international dancers is something that will be used in the article I am working on at the moment, about vocational training vs. university education in contemporary dance. Out of the six dancers who trained at UK institutions, four of them came from university training. Does it matter where you study? Is preserverence, motivation and ambition all you need? Tell me your thoughts!