The production of Roots by the National Dance Company Wales was nothing short of excellent.
The title of the first dance was “Beside Himself” and was performed by Evan Schwarz and Cyril Durand-Gasselin who danced symmetrically alongside one another, perfectly in sync. It told the story of one’s ego and alter ego struggling to co-exist in one body. The dance was it was perfectly choreographed, very amusing and also really intriguing trying to figure out what the performances were about.
The second dance was titled “Omertà” which translates in English to “secrecy.” The dance showed the oppression that women suffered in the mafia in Italy. The costumes were very effective for this performance, from the black long skirts and lace, long-sleeved shirts to the black veils covering the ladies’ faces. This dance was performed by Elena Thomas, Camille Giraudeau, Angela Boix Duran and Marine Tournet who all performed beautifully with passion.
The third dance was a very elegant performance by Angela Boix Duran and Ed Myhill. Named “They seek to find the happiness they seem” I believe the title itself is intriguing and even now I don’t believe I fully know the meaning of it. The dance was beautiful, every step of the way the dancers supported each other and put on an outstanding show.
Finally, my favourite of the four dances Animatorium was performed by Cyril Durand-Gasselin, Camille Giraudeau, Elena Thomas, Evan Schwarz and Ed Myhill. The dance portrayed the art of manipulation, the ‘master’ wearing a different costume to the other four dancers so that he was recognised as the person in charge, he manipulated them at the mere touch of his hand and compelled them to do as he pleased and the rebellion of the dancers as well as their desperation to break free. This dance was truly enchanting and I felt as though I was in some form of a trance just watching.
The audience was mainly a more mature crowd and it seemed everyone knew each other. I really would have liked to see more people in my age group there to support these wonderfully talented artists.
Overall, this was a fantastic performance and I was very relieved that it wasn’t boring and drab as I had expected from contemporary dance. The length of each dance was also very accessible, lasting around 10 to 14 minutes.
Sanaz Safari is a New Voices reviewer supported by Wales Critics Fund
She is a member of the Stage and Screen group at Cardiff West Community High School