The first short piece, A Little Shadery, to Handel's famous aria “Ombra Mai Fu”, is slight, jolly and over-choreographed. Dreamt For Light Years, the second dance, is a haunting and beautifully evocative study of a relationship in flux.
Lay me Down Safe is an altogether more complex work. And only partially successful. The opening sequence, in which the company dance to “Too Drunk To Fuck” by Nouvelle Vague is sexy and fun, with distinct elements of jazz. In fact there's a lot of sex in this. The routine to Goldmund appears to consist substantially of simulated copulation and this recurs in a different way shortly after and even more explicitly at the end.
It is perhaps the self-conscious eclecticism in the choice of music that ends up causing the difficulty. Leonard Cohen, Philip Glass, Alex Davis, contemporary composers such as David Ryther and Gerard Pesson; this is a heady musical journey to travel in 30 minutes.
Isadora Duncan wrote that "the dance springs from the music" and it’s hard for a unified vision to spring from such a wide range of styles and genres. The end, in which there is sudden burst of gunfire and the company collapses shot, appears melodramatic and disconnected.
But there are also many riveting moments, shapes, images. This work is uneven but it has terrific energy and commitment.
- Craig Singer