Reviewer's Rating

Sadler’s Wells, London

Gandini Juggling premiered “Spring”, the third part of its dance trilogy, in Cambridge Junction a year back. The first two parts of the trilogy were “4X4”, with ballet-based choreography by Ludovic Ondiviela, and “Sigma”, with Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer Seeta Patel. For “Spring” they collaborated with Alexander Whitley to combine contemporary dance with juggling routines. The integration is so successful that it’s hard to distinguish between dancers and jugglers a 60-minute performance filled with intricate skill a simple study of form and colour.
In “Spring” we are treated to an exploration of the nature of colour, from pure white to a rainbow of hues the performers use not only colours but shadows and form as well. The team make intricate patterns with monochrome rings and balls, their shadows on the white backdrop multiplying their actions. The dancers weave in-out-and around the jogglers. Colours are introduced in the lighting (designed by Guy Hoare) and the juggling implements. Magically, rings change colour as the jugglers switch sides, creating a contrasting mosaic of colours and shadows. Live musicians accompany the electronic recordings and when the music stops a litany of whispered counting and instructions ensues. The sequences don’t build to a climax nor do they follow a timeline or a storyline. What did not work for me were the not interludes between the sequences devised as humorous or performance-art pieces, they really didn’t offer anything to the performance.
The show might not quite manage the regenerative exuberance its title implies but it does engage us with its skill and artistry.