Roots, NDCWales, Dance House, WMC

The programme for Roots consists of three dances: Omertà, Bernadette and Atalaÿ.

Along with the individual dances the choreographers and also dancers talked about the works.

The choreographer for Omertà, Matteo Marfoglia, told the audience that his dance expressed the oppression of women in Italian Mafia and the difficulty of their lives alongside their fight for freedom. The word Omertà itself means ‘a code of silence’ which was the perfect choice for the dance, it was also very moving and emotional, with the use of spotlights, and sound effects to enhance the experience for the audience, thanks to Sarah Everson for the Sound Design and Leighton Thomas-Burnett for Lighting Design. The costumes included long black dresses, and thick black veils which really pulled it all together, thanks to Costumer Designer Rike Zoellner.

Bernadette was a solo dance, the story of one woman and her desperate fight in the kitchen, trying to restore order to herself in her mind, whilst still showing the struggle she faced in the kitchen. This was both moving, and yet somehow quite funny. The choreographer for this dance was Caroline Finn who was artistic director of NDCWales and recently won for ‘Best Female Dance Artist’ at the Wales Theatre Awards 2017. Caroline was also in charge of lighting and costumes for this dance, in which she chose a very simple yet elegant look that closely resembled fashion in the 1950s: a mid-length blue dress, partnered with white high-heels and a long, brown wig.

The choreographer for Atalaÿ is Mario Bermudez Gil, who found inspiration for this production in a walk that he and his wife would take in Spain with a 360 degree view, as the word Atalaÿ means ‘watchtower,’ the movement in this dance is based on the four points of a compass. This dance was the longest, 22 minutes, and was also the most fast paced and very exciting. The dance showed a lot of different relationships between the dancers. The costumes in this dance included short tunics with baggy trousers and a long belt around the torso, resembling traditional Anatolian clothing, this was chosen by Brighde Penn. Mario was listed as one of “25 to watch” by Dance Magazine and has won many prestigious prizes.

Overall this was a fantastic performance and it was good to see lots of young people and children in the audience as a part of their school trip. During the discussions between each piece the children had a chance to express their opinions and views on the show, and they all had very lovely things to say and really seemed to have understood the dances and what they were about and really enjoyed it too. They also had many questions for the dancers such as how long it takes to put a piece together and learn it, and at what age they had started dancing and it was really nice to see them taking such interest. I believe people of all ages can enjoy it.

The dancers in this programme included Aisha Naamani, Camille Giraudeau, Elena Sgarbi, Kat Collings, Matthew Pritchard and Tim Volleman.

For tour details visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *