Review: Signatures

LOTTIE UNWIN thinks if, like her, you think contemporary dance sounds horrific you should broaden your horizons.

ADC Dance Lottie Unwin

19th-23rd January, 7.45, ADC Theatre, £6-9.

Produced and Directed by Vikky Le-May


The prospect of Signatures, produced by The Cambridge Union Contemporary Dance Workshop, filled me with absolute horror.  I had a few concerns:
1)    That it would be 2 hours of interpretative dance, where in much the same format as improvised comedy I would be able to shout out words of inspiration.  ‘Anguish’ actually could be potentially hilarious.
2)    It might be a workshop in the true sense of the word and I would have to get involved.  I am not doing an interpretive dance of ‘anguish’ in the ADC.  I save that for Cindies when no one is watching.
3)    It would be lots of unrhythmical swaying and I would be deemed ignorant and uncultured for not guessing it was ‘anguish’.

Instead, I was enthralled by a huge amount of real talent.  The scenes choreographed by Adrian Potter had an apparently drug induced energy but the smiles on their faces were so honest they really were just loving it that much.  The belly dancing was pretty orgasmic; the girl in the middle definitely wanted me, at least her huge brown eyes left me questioning my sexuality.   “An Indian” choreographed by Anthony Leung, staring Daniel Siekhaus and Jessica Patterson made me desperately want to fall in the magical head over heels love they swooned with.  And, that is to name just a few highlights from a showcase of 18 acts with a huge number of people involved, from all backgrounds, of all shapes and sizes and show-casing all manner of contemporary dance – apparently an umbrella term for absolutely everything.

However, at times the dancers weren’t completely in time, which is a bit of a car crash and my fear number 3 did materialise itself.  While the lighting saved the opening scene, making the dancers white coats glisten, I am just too cynical to take anything seriously that claims to explore how the ‘refrangibility of the Rays of Light is their Disposition to be refracted or turned out of their Way in passing out of one transparent Body of Medium’. Later, a soprano was singing, a ballet dancer doing her thing and a woman was inexplicably doing some sign language. Come the fuck on.

Don’t go to this on a date.  The girls in it are so hot neither of you will want anything to do with each other by the end.  Straight men, in fact, maybe don’t go at all unless you buy a ticket for the back row and a sneaky wank.  Gay men, penultimate act Ben Jammin’ (yes that actually is his name) is both the most camp and most attractive man I have ever seen with his absolutely incredible break dancing.  Girls, do go if you have a heart big enough to accept there will be some people you will never be able to blame your boyfriend for running off with and there are some things, like dance, that you will never be able to do.  The show was so much better than I ever imagined.