Venue: The Lowry
Where: Salford

Manchester dance duo Chameleon Company (Anthony Missen and Kevin Edward Taylor), present this double bill that, fittingly for Valentine’s Day, explores people’s relationships with one another. Gemma Nixon and Elena Thomas join the two male dancers in both pieces, adding a new dimension to their work.  

The first piece, Eden, is a new work by Goddard Nixon (Jonathan Goddard and Gemma Nixon). It shows a contrast of intense obsessions and enduring love. The dancers, who at first dance as a male pair and a female pair, mimic one another so that one becomes a shadow to the other. This effect is increased by the smoke filled stage, which makes the person further back appear even more hazy. It is mesmerising throughout, like the ebb and flow of the ocean, or as if there is a thread holding them altogether but sometimes pulling them in different directions. The original score by John Matthias complements the choreography perfectly, and the beautifully lit stage makes it a haunting study of love.

A different interpretation of relationships is shown in Missen and Edward Taylor’s creation Pictures We Make. Spanish musician and composer Miguel Marin provides a throbbing soundtrack to this piece, which shows a more brutal interpretation of emotions. The dancers (again Missen, Edward Taylor, Nixon and Thomas) no longer flow but collide with one another with very sexual energy. They seem to be kept apart even when they are clasped in an embrace. The choreography has a rough physicality to it and even a kiss is made to look like an attack.

At one point in Pictures We Make the dancers stop, line up and pull different faces, at first all smiling then all surprised and so on. With this traditional mode of expression presented in such a crude way Missen and Edward Taylor seem to say ‘don’t believe what you see on someone’s face but believe the raw emotion from within.’

In these two pieces these profound feelings are expressed perfectly through the medium of movement. And, as a result - Pictures We Make is dance perfection.

- Joanna Ing