mapdance 5th Feb by Hannah Whiston

On Thursday 5th February, the transfixing and mesmerising contemporary dance group mapdance graced the Axis Art’s Centre’s floorboards. Currently on their Spring Tour, mapdance is a company of international and national dynamic new dancers, showcasing work from a variety of choreographers.


The show was interestingly split, each section presented the work of a new choreographer. All so beautifully different yet each seemed to connect in terms of the fluency and style. As a track began to play in the darkness, the dancers entered. The stage was dim, the room was full of an eager audience and a familiar pre-show tingle filled the room.

I am by no means a dancer and have very little room for interpreting dance, yet I felt an overwhelming sense of mesmerisation as I watched the bodies of the dancers play with levels, dominance and power.

The entire company seemed to move in parts as one entity, graceful yet bold. Each separate piece expressed and used different stimuli as inspiration such as poetry by Ted Hughes to create a remarkably moving piece, displaying a rapidly changing showcase of different human relationships.

Yet perhaps the most enticing was not what made these pieces different, but their similarities put forth by the dancer’s unique style. Each approached with fresh movement, it made even the most inexperienced dancer feel as if they had been studying dance for years. Working with different choreographers and accumulating all their work into one cognitive show we can only imagine how intense a process it must have been.

It would be hard to believe if the dancers had not said themselves that during some parts, they were limited with time with the choreographer, and the amount of time spent with each choreographer varied. Despite that, the show was still executed perfectly and I left the theatre not only in awe of the talent I had just witnessed, but enlightened and excited. mapdance have succeeded into breathing new life into contemporary dance, making it inviting yet simultaneously executing breath-taking choreography that all can enjoy.

–          Hannah Whiston