July 12, 2024

Styles Of Dance

Dance Styles Unite in Harmony

The Romeo: A Show with Mixed Dance Styles

3 min read
At the opening night of The Romeo at the Holland Festival in Amsterdam, Netherlands Choreographer Trajal Harrell takes the audience through a tale that is familiar but different. He reinvigorates and reminds every one of how these feelings of passion and lust belong to all generations, gender, moods and origins. Bringing perspectives from various cultures, Trajal Harrell mixes dance styles that aren’t found on traditional stages. He forever dares the audience to ask the question ‘what if’ in this historical story.

“It felt fun and exciting. It felt like being in a different time zone or space.”- New Kyd (dancer)

The dancers began with simple movements that were reminiscent of spiritual rituals as performers stated fears and facts into the microphone for the audience’s amusement. The last to speak was the choreographer, Trajal himself, as he invited the audience to read pamphlets handed out while there was a quick costume and lighting change. The audience is reintroduced to each character before being welcomed to sensual movement called ‘The walk of grief’ before the majority of the dancers withdraw into separate exits.

“I got used to [the costume changes] but there was this one piece of costume that I hated in particularly but with time and repetition and routine it became more fluid more manageable.” Songhay Toldon (dancer)

With piano benches placed along the wings of the stage, they match the melodious music as Trajal begins his solo. After another brief costume change, the performers rejoin the stage for more sensuous movements deepening the connection with the onlookers before heralding in a storm. With every exit of the dancers we are reminded of the passing of time yet are going through the same struggles and challenges of emotions.

“My favourite part about the show is the introductions in the beginning. We tried different sayings during rehearsals and we got to see how they’re all in relation to each other yet different.”- Nasheeka Nedsreal (dancer)

When the lights go down and the dancers return in colourful costumes, we are reminded of what untempered emotions can bring in consequences. They quickly scatter across the stage. The colours removed and drained from their costumes to reveal black and mourning underneath. 

The music goes silent. The dancers go still. And blackout.

“It was a really special- I don’t know like- we’ve been doing the show and you know some cities it’s just like a show and some cities the audience are really beautiful like they receive us with such like openness and that’s what this felt like but this is our second time at the festival so it’s I don’t know that desire and generosity towards the performances. It’s a magical transformative experience.” Christopher Matthews (dancer)

The show has a runtime of 1 hour 15 minutes with no interval and has been presented at the Holland Festival and Festival d’Avignon. The Romeo will be in Brussels at the Kaaitheater in December this year.

The Romeo

All images are courtesy of Orpheas Emirzas

Drew Janine

Janine has always been a part of music and performing. The first show that inspired her to go into theatre was the Velveteen Rabbit which she saw as a child, and Drew works to keep that magic alive as working behind the scenes in theatre as a live sound engineer. When Drew was accepted into an internship program for audio engineering at a recording studio, she jumped at the opportunity. That was at the start of 2020 and so much has happened since then, both in her career and in the world. Since then, Drew has taken several opportunities to work at recording studios, concerts, festivals, and even large theatres while spending time on tour across the North American continent and Europe. Drew’s favourite by far though has been the chance to work on Broadway and West End shows, as this was a dream come true. Drew is honoured to get to share these experiences from being inside the entertainment industry and hopes to inspire others to continue working in theatre.

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