Salamanda Tandem, Lighthouse

Review in Issue 8-4 | Winter 1996

Co-commissioned by Dance 4 and the NOWninety6 Festival, Lighthouse was directed by Isabel Jones and drew inspiration from Wollaton Hall, a C16th Elizabethan Hall that is now an eclectic Natural History museum. Jo Fairfax designed clear perspex towers and trays with delicate piles of powder. These were complemented by two larger installations at floor level that were internally lit and covered in heaps of a salt-like mineral. The piece started as a large bell was sounded which conjured two dancers who flitted across doorways and took quick exploratory diagonals up and down stage. The performance was both entrancing and intriguing through to the final image. The dancers Naomi Mutoh and Tamami Yamada complemented each other through shared and dissonant choreographic patterns. Mutoh's complete concentration and immersion in her internal journey was externalised through the choreography and was fascinating to watch. Yamada's often lighter and faster style was essential and maintained a dynamic stage picture. Three vocalists (Vivien Ellis, Isabel Jones and Sian Croose) created an impressive sound world in which the dance often seemed to palpably hang. Duncan Chapman's sound had been created concurrently with the movement, the one helping to shape the other and vice versa. In the closing sequence, Mutoh seemed to transform into an old and ancient body and with a beautiful hand gesture seemed to pull the very breath of life from within herself, only for it to recoil back into her body – a truly magic moment in performance.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 1996

This article in the magazine

TT 8-4
Issue 8-4
p. 23