High Spin, Who Dunnit? / Sleepwalker

Review in Issue 16-3/4 | Autumn 2004

A double bill from High Spin, a dance-theatre company featuring performers with and without learning disabilities. High Spin have a policy of creating work in collaboration with guest artists/choreographers – and although this permanent ensemble have a very engaging physical presence on stage, the quality and style of the work varies enormously from one show to another, as each production is very visibly stamped with the artistic signature of the collaborator. This can be clearly seen in this juxtaposition of two pieces created in the same time period with different choreographers.

Who Dunnit?, choreographed by Maxine Doyle, is inspired by iconic film detectives. It is a mildly amusing and entertaining diversion, but there is little depth to the work (a series of physical comedy and dance vignettes). Furthermore, the choreographic action of these scenes seems to be mostly led or held by the performers without learning disabilities – with one or two notable exceptions, such as a solo sofa dance of flounced skirt and crossed legs.

In comparison, Sleepwalker (a collaboration with Miriam King) creates solos, duets and ensemble sections that place the performers in many and various combinations. There is a pleasing coherence to the visual design (beautiful ghostly white garments, a dim stage softly lit by lanterns and lovely suspended birdcages) and the dream-time choreography seems to perfectly suit the company, who respond by giving strong performances, creating a succession of very beautiful and engaging moving pictures.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jul 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 16-3/4
p. 27