Dance; Reflected

By Jo Phillips

There are moment that happen in our lifetimes when we can say…yes I was there. Not the moments that horrify but the moments the lighten and gladden our hearts and inspire us. Say, for example, the first Sex Pistols gig (if you are of a certain age). Or what about dance performance of a seminal work that is presented very rarely? Find out more here in Dance; Reflected.

Images on right, top Jaime Roque de la Cruz

bottom Mehdi-Benkler.

It’s quite amazing how many people claimed over the years to have been at the Sex Pistols first ever live show at St Martin’s College of Art, London, November 6th 1975. They were an unknown band then and so there is no way that in such a small venue that many people that claim to have been there, were there; so seminal was the event hence why so many claimed to have attended.

Lucinda Ruth Childs Image Mehdi-Benkler

Dance is a seminal work of 1970s minimalism dance. It was the first major show from the dancer and choreographer Lucinda Childs, it was set to a specially commissioned score by Philip Glass and visual artist Sol LeWitt. A visual treat of synchronicity between movement and music, Glass’s repeated musical tones and notes are mirrored by 17 dancers whilst a film of the dancers plays at the same time. LeWitt shot a film of the original dance, and then cut, layered and floated it above the live performance. Projected onto a front scrim, so dancers appear from both past and present, echoing each movement exactly, with this work now being recognised as a modern masterpiece.

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The last time this genius artwork was performed in London by her own company was in 2011, as part of Dance Umbrella; until last night that is, an hour long dance performance was held onWednesday 9th of march 2022 at Sadler’s Wells as part the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels festival of choreography, (find out more here) Dance was performed by the Lyon Opera Ballet

A dual performance originally the dancers in the film also danced live but this year 2022 a new set of dancers performed the triptych of dance, music and film.

Lucinda Ruth Childs Image Mehdi-Benkler

Luring almost trippy musically, spiralling, repetitive, trance like (and we think trip hop happened in the 1990’s) the score, the film and the dance came together as one cyclical movement, a coalition of sound, film and movement. Hypnotic repetitive and divine and of course mesmerisingly beautiful.


At the end of this one off performance, Lucinda Childs, now 81, joined the dancers on the stage for a ten minute of applause, so enthused was the audience It was a moment, yes , one that will stay with the audience long after other memories fades. Because this sort of beauty aids our world and lets face it, our world will be made better not by politicians, but by beauty and creativity.

The Dance Reflections festival by Van Cleef & Arpels, is a celebration of performance showing 17 choreographed pieces in London during March.

The French luxury jewellery is forging links between the company and the dance world, supporting the arts and boosting both major repertory works and new productions into big venues for a new audience.  Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels aims to raise the general public’s awareness of the history and culture of dance. 


The Van Cleef and Arpels programme may have a few tickets left, so that you too can have one of ‘those life setting moments’. One of those ‘moments’ where you too get the chance to say I was there.

Find out more about the dance festival Here and generally about the House Van Cleef and Arpels Here

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