The Knot

Malvern Theatres


Anticipation and excitement was palpable as wedding guests filtered into their seats. What would the bride be wearing? How long were we going to have to wait? Would they finally make the commitment of their lives? Could we pull off some fantastic shapes on the dance floor?

The Knot, in the final leg of the tour, transformed Malvern Theatres into a space set to explore the concepts and rituals of marriage in our modern and throw-away society. Artistic director and choreographer Didy Veldman launched her own dance company Umanoove two years ago with The Happiness Project and moves from strength to strength with this celebration of matrimony.

The six dancers react to Les Noces, Stravinsky’s music from a Russian folk wedding mixed with a specially commissioned score by Ben Foskett and begin the proceedings with some perfectly timed slow motion routines which enables each individual to dress in total synchronicity.

In contrast to the slow mo there are some courageously energetic performances with an inventive use of chairs pushing the physical boundaries with a huge amount of twists and turns stacking the furniture high to be transformed into an arch where everything hangs in the balance.

The Knot didn’t fail to impress and the very poignant duo with the wrists bound together and the rocking of the chairs kept pace with the changing moods and rhythms of the big day. Members of the audience were also given the opportunity to become involved on the stage and become part of the proceedings.

Mai Lisa Guinoo was majestic to watch and I loved the bouquet scene which Mai eventually triumphed in grabbing the prize despite being shoved, pushed in the face and dragged backwards during the comedic battle to overcome the other enthusiastic contenders.

Dancers Oliver Chapman, Sam Costello, Sara Harton, Mathieu Geffre, Mai Lisa Guinoo and Angela Venturini managed to complement each other in their individual styles yet work together in seamless timing. An impressive magical choreographic achievement to take on the meaning of a wedding which was done with effortless style, boundless energy and prowess to make you want to see a repeat performance, I do.

Emma Trimble


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