A scarlet harlot at the ballet

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Pictures: Pat Bromilow-Downing

The opening dance in Cadence at Artscape made me cringe suddenly and unexpectedly. I wanted to shout: I have betrayed you! I am a scarlet woman!

My second viewing of Joshua Beamish’s KeepCover brought memories of my first viewing flooding back.

How hard I had fallen that day!

My heart fluttered and my breathing quickened. I was transformed; I was a poet when I wrote my review about this Corporeal Calligrapher.

The polished version of KeepCover, which opens the Cape Dance Company’s new show, is delightfully artistic and technically brilliant. The dancers are easily identified as individuals performing extraordinary feats, just as they are one graceful moving sculpture.

It seemed to confirm that my early crush was right on target.

Ahhh those early heady days… when I thought it would last forever!

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But then enter [stage right] Christopher L. Huggins and his Bolero! Crash, boom, bang.

You’d be forgiven for thinking I had never promised my heart to Joshua.

My review, Ballet like water for chocolate…   was a steamy love song to Christopher’s Bolero.

This sizzling ballet is the closing piece in Cadence so I knew that my confusion and shame would likely be amplified by the end of the show.

Before Bolero burned a hole in the stage I had the relative calmness of three other pieces to enjoy.

Debbie Turner’s pas de deux immediately made the theatre seem bigger than before. I felt as if I were watching an idea of the ideal: the perfect showman and woman in a glass box set high on a huge stage. They were proving what is possible with the body. No metaphorical fluffiness here. But when they were gone I wondered if they had been there at all, if this perfection was possible.

CDC is known for the dancers’ technical brilliance and it is a constant, unifying thread in Cadence, a very diverse programme.

This was my second viewing also of Bradley Shelver’s Scenes. Enjoying the work is easy, with riveting performances and choreography that calls loudly to a wide range of emotions. Understanding his powerful and complex language is harder. I am determined to see this at least one more time.

Then comes seduction by Christopher L Huggins’ Bolero.

There is no other way to describe it: it is off-the-charts sexy, absolutely sizzling … blush blush blush. I didn’t stand a chance.

By the end I could hear my heart beating and feared others might. I was a mess of guilt and confusion.

I was relieved when the shouting and clapping drew me back to reality. I was in a theatre, one of many adoring fans. There was no fear, guilt and confusion, just shouts of ‘Bravo’ and loud clapping. I am not a scarlet woman. I do not have to choose. Neither of them will ask me to marry them so I need not worry that both might. There is space in my heart for Joshua Beamish and Christopher L. Huggins, not to mention Debbie Turner and everyone at CDC and and and …

This is a sensational show, diverse and delicious.

Siobhan Cassidy

1 thought on “A scarlet harlot at the ballet”

  1. Peter Worthington

    Smoking show. Huggin’s choreography is extraordinary and the dances are great. What an unbelievable tragedy that I can go on a Saturday night and the theatre was a quarter full. This deErves to be a sell-out

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