The Watchmaker at Olympia Theatre

The Watchmaker promises a dance spectacle amalgamating two very different forms of dance – contemporary street dance and classical ballet. For the most part this production delivers on this promise, producing a performance that keeps the audience captivated throughout.

The concept behind the performance is an interesting one, albeit one that unclear unless you buy the program. The Watchmaker (Ernest Putelis) observes the lives of the citizens within a pleasant town. He appreciates the little moments in life which, in today’s frantic modern world, tend to go unnoticed.

However, when the focal point of the town, its majestic clock breaks evil spirits arrive and unleash a Pandora’s box of evil upon the town. One by one the citizens fall prey to addiction, lust and self-loathing. With time running out can the Watchmaker restore the clock and preserve the purity he so treasures?

Veronika Sardino in her role as the lead ballerina is a revelation. Her dancing was emotive and her footwork flawless. The citizens provided the ballet element which juxtaposed well with the street dancing evil spirits. One scene in particular where a citizen grapples with her vanity and self-hatred, represented by a spirit mimicking her moves on the opposite side of a mirror stood out for its clever choreography and compelling movements.

The production did come across as, at times, amateur. I found myself being distracted from the performance as a whole when a shoe fell off one of the ballerinas and could not ignore the several wobbles that occurred throughout the production. The Watchmaker himself added another the contemporary element in the form  of body popping, but it seemed to fall flat in comparison to the rest of the production. This was particularly prevalent in the scene where he danced with the lead ballerina, a scene which in theory should have been the pinnacle scene in the production but in reality, came across as awkward and lacklustre.

Overall, despite a few hiccups, I found the performance to be a highly enjoyable one and look forward to the next production by this young dance company. I feel they will go from strength to strength in times to come and continue to grow with each staging of this imaginative show.

Laura Carroll

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