Far From Home

Kristina and Sade Alleyne
Alleyne Dance
Dance City, Newcastle

Kristina and Sade Alleyne Far From Home Credit: Camilla Greenwell
Alleyne Dance Far From Home Credit: Camilla Greenwell
Alleyne Dance Credit: Camilla Greenwell

Newcastle is very fortunate to have had Alleyne Dance, founded by identical twin sisters Kristina and Sadé Alleyne, present Far From Home, their new touring production, at Dance City yesterday, following its international première at The Place, London in November 2022.

Far from Home is broadly about migration and takes audiences on a journey of separation, loss, travel, friendship, struggle plus the joy of reunification and reconciliation. It’s based on many stories from people with lived experience of migration.

The Alleyne sisters Sade and Kristina have incredible chemistry and connection, so inevitably it feels like Far From Home is about them, even though they are from London and studied in Leeds! The opening section shows one sister torn from the other, who finds herself on an unknown beach and then loses sight of the others who have also arrived there. The sense of connecting and separating flows in the choreography throughout the piece.

The piece continues through a number of fluid, evocative sections, with different moods and clarity of vision, with marvellous and varied music, both joyful and sad, by Nicki Wells and Giuliano Modarelli. Everything is really dance-based, with great physicality and presence by superb dancers who have clear personalities, making this work both visceral, beautiful, moving and non-intellectual in a refreshing and highly accessible way.

There is a moment of great sorrow towards the end with bodies piled upstage right, which felt like the natural end; the piece continues though, with additional both joyous and intense dances, which did seem a little unnecessary.

The set by Emanuela Salamanca is simple but absolutely right and is extremely well used by lighting designer Salvatore Scollo. The costumes are satisfyingly diverse, revealing movement well and associating to both celebratory global wear and the damage of months of travel. The visual imagery is powerful.

There are many community dancers involved in several sections and mostly this works well; the young people from CAT, the Centre for Advanced Training based at Dance City, worked particularly well, with some really immersing themselves. Role models such as this company are absolutely crucial. The older dancers are from the 55+ ensemble, also based at Dance City.

Kristina and Sadé Alleyne said: “the research and creation process for Far From Home has taught us so much. It has been a true privilege for us to speak to many people who have been affected by the themes in this production and to be trusted to bring those stories to life on stage. It has also been a dream of ours to expand Alleyne Dance, so we welcome our new company members with open arms and thank them for everything they have given to creating this work.”

Far From Home is ambitious, fabulous to watch, deeply immersive and most important of all sincere. We see that this work matters to the dancers Bryan Doisy, Giorgia Gasparetto, Juan Jesus Giraldi and Iro Konti and is infused with their experiences.

Reviewer: Dora Frankel

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