NATIONAL Dance Company Wales returned to The Courtyard and proved once again what a talented company they are.

It seems a long time ago now that they were known as Diversions, and the three strikingly different pieces in the current autumn programme confirm their status as a world class company dancing wonderfully accessible pieces.

Opening with Itzik Galili’s The Grammar of Silence, a mesmerising piece exploring the moments in a relationship where misunderstanding creeps in. Extraordinarily choreographed lighting creates an ever-changing setting and mood that transforms the bare stage it’s being danced on, building a world in which lovers come together and pull apart, where intimacy is sought and rejected.

Stephen Petronio’s By Singing Light is a work inspired by the poetry of Dylan Thomas, performed to music by composer Son Lux who has created his own settings of some of the poems and incorporated Welsh music into the score. Visually arresting, this is dance that can seem to demand an understanding of the narrative but which is infinitely rewarding whether you know what Petronio intends or not. The need to know can prove a barrier to the simply joyful enjoyment of dancers at the height of their powers, demonstrating how endlessly flexible and expressive the human body can be.

No one watching the final piece, the exuberant Dream, choreographed by the legendary Christopher Bruce, would have the least difficulty interpreting the work. A witty, funny and wonderful celebration of sporting endeavour, with nods to school sports’ days, this year’s magnificent Olympics and past glories - including Torvill and Dean’s Sarajevo triumph - the re-creation of sporting prowess was a joy to watch, as Ravel’s Bolero provided the score for skating, power walking, running and javelin, not to mention egg-and-spoon and three-legged races.

If you missed them in Hereford, National Dance Company Wales can be seen at Theatr Brycheiniog on Thursday, November 15 and Friday, November 16 (interactive matinee). To book, call 01874 611622.