Flying Camels [Anna reviews]

We've got a new thing going at ProDanceLeeds: weekly reviews! Most Mondays, you'll be able to read a review of the class that's on that week, written by someone who isn't part of the ProDance team. We're thinking this will help when you want to decide whether a class sounds like it might be for you or not! We sneakily started this already last week with Anna Cabré-Verdiell reviewing James Finnemore's class. She's back again this week with a review of Humanhood. Enjoy!

Rudi Cole and Julia Robert-Pares, the founders and members of Humanhood, work in absolute tune, passing the leading role of the class from one to the other in a smoothly synchronised way.

The lesson begins with all the participants gathering in a circle. We get absolutely immersed in a meditative practise before we even realise, bringing up the awareness towards collectivity while working on the individual inner focus. Using breath as the main engine for the body to start warming up, the meditation involves at first continuous and sinuous movements reminiscent of Tai Chi, waking up the joints and the skeleton structure. Then, more dynamic sequences increase the muscle involvement, still using breath as the movement promoter.

Later on, with the bodies already warm, the bounce takes the room. Julia guides the dancers into an almost unconscious state, where the aim is to bounce the body trying to loosen all its parts while working in crescendo, speeding up the tempo and the dynamics.  It feels like camel riders racing in the desert. The body gets physically excited, but Julia insists in keeping the calm inside, as a way of reaching inner tranquillity even when the body gets explosive. Music wise, beautiful Arabic music helps the jockeys to achieve their purpose, with the accurate accompaniment of the Cole brothers, Azizi and Rudi, playing drums and flamenco clapping at once.

The last bit of the class focuses on repertoire from the piece “Zero”, recently premiered by the British-Catalan couple. The grounding nature of the material gets blown away by the light quality in which it is executed.