By Adam Knight

HEREFORD’S 2Faced Dance Company kicked off their nationwide tour with a breathtaking performance of their new work, Out of his Skin, at The Courtyard, layering their trademark physicality with moves heavy with modern angst.

The stage lights rise to reveal a three-storey tower looming on the left – and, following the principle of ‘Chekhov’s gun’, those familiar with the all-male company know that where there is an obstacle, it is only a matter of time before someone jumps off it. And it’s not long before a lone dancer, skin-headed and pained, falls backwards from the roof. The other five dancers, too, suffer similar fates throughout the piece – climbing the tower, only to fall triumphantly and emerge to rejoin the Orwellian group, all boiler-suited and shaven-headed, in tightly choreographed group sequences. The soundtrack, crafted by the Jailhouse’s Anthony Murphy, raises tension to uncomfortable levels before releasing into the kind of big beats that give the dancers space to launch high energy solos, with the contrasting subtlety of a Rob Base sample and power of returning alumni Tom Tindall’s solo both nods to the company’s past, and markers of how far they have come. The six dancers offer a single response to the frustrations of the modern world, fighting through every one of the 57 minutes with a visceral energy to capture brief moments of peace and calm beauty. Artistic director and choreographer Tamsin Fitzgerald now takes Out of his Skin on a three-month UK tour, and to Brazil for four shows.

If you didn't catch it in Hereford see Out of his Skin at Malvern Theatres on Tuesday, February 19. To book, call the box office on 01684 892277.

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Hereford Times: Malvern Theatres