Brighton Fringe 2019
Ceyda Tanc Youth Dance delivers another inspirational and dynamic showcase of the next generation of dancers. 12 short pieces showing a broad variety of skills and moods, across a wide age range. Delivered with impeccable and distinctive style.
Contemporary Dance can be a challenging artform to successfully navigate both as a creator and as an audience. By nature it’s language is more abstract than it’s traditional classical ancestor and therefore can sometimes be difficult to interpret and somewhat inaccessible. Not so with Ceyda Tanc. She has combined her Anglo/Turkish roots to create her own unique choreographic style. Her musical choices are perfectly suited and the overall visual aesthetic is very classy, understated and makes for a perfect blend.
Ceyda Tanc Dance was formed in 2012 along with the educational arms Ceyda Tanc Youth Dance for ages 15-19 years and CTD Junior Company for ages 12-16 years. Since then she has steadily created large body of work and an equally large following and rightfully so, as she always achieves a high level of training and excellence in line with the age and development of her dancers.
Under her guidance the whole ensemble performed with centred composure, confidence and in near perfect unison. Flowing between smooth floor work, contact, balance and partner work to dynamic elevations. Tanc’s choreography possesses a mixture of both ancient and very modern qualities, which is a potent emotional combination. The dancers move effortlessly between sensitive hand gestures reminiscent of a sacred language through to powerful, gritty, urban postures.
As we progressed through the dozen pieces we alternated between the younger and older teenage companies, although you would be hard pressed to tell the difference, as they’re all technically strong. Duo’s, trios, quintets and full company works were all executed beautifully and all with Tanc’s distinctive style yet without becoming repetitive.
The audience is taken on a musical journey with influences of ancient Turkish drumming to ethereal vocals to urban drum & bass without any of the styles feeling incompatible with each other and all of them fused artfully with the movements to make a seamless emotional narrative. There was a subtle developmental progression through the pieces, which facilitated the dancers versatility and led to a finale, which would rival any adult contemporary company.
Tanc’s costume choices are also to be commended. They too, are a subtle mix of the traditional and the modern with simple designs, muted tonal colours and an androgynous quality that enhances the movements and also suits the diversity of her dancers.
The performance was sold out, which is no surprise as, like the professional company, the youth companies have an enthusiastic following. The Speigeltent is a stunning venue and Tanc made good use of its circular aspect by using multi-directional positioning so everyone in the audience was included from every vantage point.
I have seen Ceyda Tanc’s work before and as usual she did not disappoint. I was particularly impressed with the focus and stamina shown by all ages, as an ensemble they all genuinely worked together, giving an impression of “collective consciousness” which is a testament to Tanc’s skill both as and educator and a choreographer and something often missing from professional companies. It is inspiring to see such a large group of adolescents working in union and with such professional attitudes. Rest assured we have a large bank of impressive talent to feed into the industry in the near future.