The Rodin Project and How to Use Dance to Reflect Works of Art

February 09, 2012


Having formed strong ties with many of London's best museums and galleries, we're always looking for new and innovative ways to use entertainment to compliment the latest exhibitions and shows. Whether that's the work of one artist or a collection based around a subject, entertainment can be used as a way to subtly (or not so subtly) reinforce the themes and motifs contained in an exhibition.

With that in mind, The Russsell Maliphant Company's recent show at Sadlers Wells 'The Rodin Project will be of particular interest to anyone holding corporate events at galleries or museums; offering a wealth of ideas on how dance can be used to interpret fine art into something thrillingly kinetic and contemporary.

Mixing techniques from Contemporary Dance, Hip Hop, Breaking, Popping and even elements of Rock Climbing, Maliphant's show not only works as a thoughtful and intelligent companion piece to the work of the famous French sculptor, but also opens up a world of possibility for using dance at events.

The work of Auguste Rodin manifests itself in a variety of ways throughout the performance, sometimes in a literal sense - as dancers cascade down from stark, black walls in an unsettling recreation of The Gates of Hell, other times Rodin's techniques are employed in a more abstract way - his exaggerated twists of the human body finding the perfect analogue in the jolting, violent movements of body popping. Sometimes its the experience of viewing art that the performance evokes; in slower moments, the brilliant use of lighting and subtle choreography gives the sensation of viewing the dancers as if they're pieces in a museum, leaning or stepping from side to side to admire different angles.

Best of all, it's never 'on the nose'. Maliphant avoided Rodin's most recognisable work, The Thinker but even when dancers momentarily hold familiar poses, the show uses Rodin's sculptures and drawings as a jumping off point rather than a guide. As Maliphant commented in his recent Guardian Interview "Sometimes, we've allowed actual gestures and positions to be in there momentarily, but we've tried to avoid being literal. It's much more about groupings, or larger qualities like groundedness or weight."

Though it's doubtful that The Russell Maliphant Dance Company set out to create a show with such relevance to Entertainment at Corporate Events, there's certainly a lot to think about for anyone looking to bring the spirit of an artist into another medium for an event.

The show returns to Sadlers Wells in October and it's a must see even for those with a passing interest in Dance or Sculpture. For more information on booking dance performances at Corporate Events, get in touch.