North East contemporary dance enthusiasts have two final chances to see the Dora Frankel Dance company’s triple bill Bitter, Sweet and Dark at the Customs House in South Shields on Friday 6 May at 7pm and to Darlington Arts Centre on Wednesday 18 May at 8pm.

The three pieces in the programme are inspired by Mark Rothko’s painting No.14 1960 (Trio), the work of Japanese artist Kenji Yoshida (Swathes of Sweet Time) and four stories by Edgar Alan Poe (Angel of the Odd).

Trio explores the nature of conflicting states and emotions with never a moment’s pause in the challenging movement and makes great physical demands on its performers whilst Swathes of Sweet Time is a duet for two female dancers that flows through time, space and memory to specially written music by Penny Callow and Simon Wood.

The final piece, Angel of the Odd, is powerful, edgy, dance-theatre, a free adaptation of four of Poe’s short stories - The Man in the Crowd, The Tell Tale Heart, A Descent into the Maelstrom and MS. Found in a Bottle.

Danced by the whole company, including choreographer Dora Frankel, the overwhelming feeling invoked by Angel of the Odd is pain, even anguish.

Bitter, Sweet and Dark is deeply rooted in physical skill emphasising the communicative power of theatre. The work is disciplined and structured but allows, as Dora Frankel says, “serendipity, random elements and non-conformity”.

Bitter, Sweet and Dark investigates the dynamics between male and female dancers, age and gender, dance, sound and environment. The combination of choreographic inventiveness and the dancers’ passion make each performance an exceptional experience.