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Test Run, Crucible Studio, Sheffield

By John Highfield

Sheffield Star, 2 October 2007

Here’s a surprise, a piece of contemporary dance that is both short and to the point and, even more strikingly, extremely funny.

Dancer Janusz Orlik and two musicians – VDT regular Patrycja Kujawska and Sieben guest Matt Howden – wander on stage and begin to bicker between themselves about their lack of facilities, the absence of set, the size of the company.

Then the music begins and what develops is a completely hypnotic fusion of music and movement, a beguiling, brisk piece of dance theatre in which boundaries are increasingly blurred.

So although Orlik is the centre of the dance – an intense, captivating stage presence combining great physicality with a touching lyricism and sense of drama – the two musicians are unstoppably drawn into the heart of the action as a violin duet becomes a violin duel.

Classic and contemporary collide as Orlik seems to be manipulated by the music but, at the same time, Kujawska and Howden too seem to be controlled by the sound they create.

It reaches an exhausting crescendo in less than 30 minutes and then returns to normality with the three picking up the pieces and ambling off stage, leaving just the delightful memory of an outstanding piece of new work.