Scottish Dance Theatre review: Hugely talented group prove there's innovation outside London

Lyndsey Winship
A melding of classical rituals and street swagger: TutuMucky, choreographed by Botis Seva

In our brilliant London arts bubble, where we're used to the best of the best every night of the week, it's easy to forget that there's really interesting work going on outside the capital too. Scottish Dance Theatre is a great example.

The Dundee-based company, under the direction of Fleur Darkin, is a small group of hugely talented and versatile dancers from the UK and Europe, performing brave commissions from lesser-known choreographers.

Slovakian dance-maker Anton Lachky opens this double bill with Dreamers. It starts with a full-on statement of intent: a tag-team series of super-fast solos alternating between the dancers, each like an attack of mania, with their bodies shuddering, shaking, scrawling, cartwheeling, flipping, kicking; a physical version of verbal diarrhoea but with extreme precision and clarity. The rest of the piece switches between this exhilarating, skilful movement and supposedly comedic mugging and miming, so it's a mixed bag overall.

The lightness of Dreamers turns to brooding darkness courtesy of Botis Seva, a young hip hop dancer from Dagenham who is turning out to be a distinctive choreographic voice. In TuTuMucky he pulls off a melding of classical rituals and street swagger, with dancers in net tutus and crop tops or bare chests, muscles rippling in the hazy shadows of the stage. They morph from the confines of ballet to the pugilistic energy and convulsing reflexes of hip hop and krump. Seva is great at atmosphere and this piece has a strong sense of protest, aggression and the contrast and collision of opposing worlds, but there's still more to develop choreographically. We should look forward to seeing more from him, and from Darkin's innovative company.