Introducing one of our volunteer dance reviewers, Jazmine Watts-Moast:
I graduated from Falmouth University in 2016 with a BA(Hons) in Dance and Performance, specialising in Contemporary dance. Since graduating I have pursued a freelance career as a dance practitioner, performing and teaching throughout Devon and Cornwall.
Review of At The End We Begin | Richard Chappell Dance,
by Jazmine Watts-Moast
Monday 26 March 2018 at Exeter Phoenix
A lone man sets the scene on stage as the lights come up; Where is he? What is he looking for?
Part 1: Burnt Norton begins Chappell’s first full length work ‘At the end we begin’, a contemporary
dance piece based on T.S Eliot’s classic Four Quartet’s; Burnt Norton, East Coker, The Dry Salvages
and Little Gidding. The four quartets of dance are based around the narrative and feel of these
classic writings that concern and focus on the use of time, space, loss, acceptance, control and
I was handed a short programme of the piece which included extracts from each poem
that Chappell drew inspiration from and used as a stimuli to create movement, he described these
extracts as the most pivotal and principal lines from the poems that resonated with him. This gave
me a strong line of narrative to follow and it was very clear to me which section was which as
intention, dynamics, music and lighting transitioned from one section to the next, portraying the
words we saw in front of us and translating them into beautiful movement. The technicality of the
choreography and company dancers was astounding, Chappell brings his Rambert training of ballet
technique using strong arabesques, developpe’s and extensions into his choreography, making his
style of movement classic but with strong contemporary technique and floor work.
The duet work was especially telling of both Chappell’s style and T.S Eliot’s poetry as the intention was strong throughout, with stunning moments that I wish I could see over and over again with lifts and innovative ways of using each others bodies. There was a real ‘human’ quality to the choreography as I not only saw dance performers, but real people telling a story in an abstract way. This is what offer’s the audience not only a fantastic contemporary dance performance, but an emotional journey that enables us to reflect upon our own lives and relationships- Something that I believe only brilliant live performances can do.
Top Image: Richard Chappell Dance