21st – 23rd March 2018
Retrograde by definition not only refers to the motion of a planet moving backwards in its orbital path, but defines reverting back to an inferior condition. Warped into a kaleidoscope of stylistic interpretations of the theme, KCL Dance Society’s Retrograde explores the meaning of life, loss and longing; bringing a dynamic fusion of throwbacks, reminiscing and an elusive translation of time to the stage.
Coincidentally, Mercury is in retrograde from March 22nd to April 15th, threatening to throw life off course as the ‘messenger planet’ appears to move backwards, disrupting matters of communication and reasoning whilst ensuing chaos. Astrologers believe when Mercury is in retrograde, individuals should avoid making deals to avoid mis-communication as personal judgement is thrown out of alignment. Despite this, KCL Dance Society’s Retrograde is far from a chaotic production. Presenting a variety of dance disciplines from ballet to burlesque and contemporary to breaking, the production does not fall short of diversity. Transitioning between styles with vocal intervals of wisdom from philosopher Alan White, discussing notions of love, time and dreaming in relation to the cosmos, the audience is encapsulated in the theatre, encouraged to follow the trajectory of Retrograde within an interesting convolution of space and time.
An audience should expect to be lost amongst illusions of dance, particularly in Sophie Rivett’s classical jazz that transports the audience backwards in time to 1920’s Hollywood. The sophistication and seduction manifested on the stage as sixteen elegant young women fan-kick their way through Etta James’s “At Last” challenges the notion of “reverting to an inferior state” that retrograde defines. However, it allows the audience to allude to the recent inferiority of millennial Hollywood in a post-Weinstein, almost apocalyptic environment for women in the industry. Similarly, Emily Harvey’s Irish choreography inflicts nostalgia for those who recall Michael Flatley’s renowned “Lord of the Dance” as a dynamic reinvention of Irish Dance is performed by Dance Society’s best tap dancers.
KCL Dance Society presents: Retrograde provides the audience with some remarkable choreography that would be difficult to identify as student led in a professional environment. With 100% of ticket sales being donated to charities, Hope for Children and Parkinson’s CAN Dance, the show encourages audience members to enjoy cultural arts in aid of making a difference to disadvantaged individuals. If you have an eye for illusion, a taste for thrill and can indulge in performance, Retrograde is not one to be missed.