Local and visiting companies explore darkness and light
AfterLight opened with a solo for Thomasin Gülgeç, spinning as if on a turntable while his arms reached into the darkness around him. At the end we returned to that solitary figure that, instead of opening his body to an enlarging consciousness, shuts down into solitary whirls. In part two, the white-clad Silvina Cortés and Gemma Nixon's gentle liquidity could have come from Isadora Duncan dancers.
Maliphant's choreography has no hard edges; its performers spiraled, curled, and spun from one evanescent moment to the next. Sometimes this felt like watching smoke, except that these dancers were anchored in a deep-grounded muscularity that allowed them to connect into an endless stream of rounded shapes. In the first pas de deux, Gülgeç and Nixon's weighty folding over each other wonderfully recalled Leon Bakst's illustrations of Scheherazade. Though conceptually intriguing, AfterLight turned out to be a one-shot deal; whether there is more meat to this choreographer remains to be seen.