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Atomos at the Sadlers Wells

Sadlers Wells on Stiletto Wheels Blog

I love going to the Sadlers Wells: it’s both wonderfully accessible and the UK’s leading modern dance venue.

For a wheelchair user, there are well positioned spaces in the middle of the stalls, level and lift access everywhere, easy unloading/loading on the pavement outside and free parking for our cars (pass code access so request at the time of booking) as well as concession price availability.  It doesn’t get much better than that … anywhere.  Truly a pleasure and more so if you love modern dance which I do.

I go regularly and I was there, last weekend, seeing Atomos, a new work choreographed by Wayne McGregor, performed by Random Dance, which I enjoyed but wasn’t blown away by.

And isn’t that the drawback of some decades spent with an interest in modern dance?  I have seen a lot of performances so my basis for comparison is huge and my eye, consequently, critical.  I hope for every new work to enthrall me anew and, of course, that rarely happens just as, over the decades of viewing, the truly magnificent and great that I have seen are remembered as glittering pages peeking out from a book in shades of grey.

Atomos was a piece with noble cerebral intention – broadly, using the human body to show how atoms combine, in a dialogue between collectivism and individual will … but I’m afraid I didn’t really ‘get’ the message.

Wayne McGregor and his company may have been involved in a project researching creativity but most of the rest of us have not.  I was unable to connect this performance with the stated intention.

For me, it was a well done production showcasing some enjoyable choreography, great dancers, some interesting multi media elements and an irritating introduction of 3D glasses generating confusion and little discernible audience benefit.  It left me under-whelmed, querying what it was trying to convey and a preference to never having to use stupid 3D glasses at the Sadlers Wells again unless in circumstances far more effective than this.

So, far from the best I have seen but please, don’t let any negativity deter you.  Every experience adds to the sum of your whole and only by trying different and new things do we discover that which truly ‘speaks’ to each one of us.  How else would we be able to discern good if we knew no bad?  And, sometimes good is okay too – still enjoyable, worth doing, no?

If you love dance or think you might, Sadlers Wells is one of the best places to go see the new, different, to experiment.  Enjoy.

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