Charlie Jordan – D.J
Smooth Radio – The Smooth Drive Home 4pm – 7pm, Mon – Friday.

Confession…..I can’t dance. As a 6 ft teenager, with the co-ordination of a tipsy baby giraffe, I hid behind the decks and played tunes while other people danced. And so began my career as a D.J., avoiding dancing!

This means I’ve always been in awe of those who can dance, and I’m definitely happiest in the audience. I’ve seen some stunning shows at the Patrick Centre in the last few months. Who knew you could be so mischievous dancing with a coffee machine, as Igor and Moreno did, wearing sharp tailored suits. I adored the pink suit, and may have practised the odd move with a cuppa the next morning, in homage to their domestic staging of a delightfully quirky show.

The Happiness Project was a favourite show – I loved the humour and whimsy mingled in with the everyday. And they spoke! Working in radio and with poetry, it was refreshing to see the dancers talk to the audience and pose questions that lingered long after the applause. A perfect introductory show to the world of dance, for those that don’t yet know how much they might love it, and so accessible.

Rosalind was a chance to see a Shakespeare play I’m not familiar with, ‘As you like it’ interpreted by James Cousins Company. This proved to be another highlight. Stark staging and lighting cleverly used to create a cube that framed much of the show, and transformed into a boxing ring so credible I was convinced I could see individual ropes twisting as the dancers stepped in and out. Nightclub beats alternated with gentler music punctuated by powerful silences in the soundtrack. The show explored issues of gender identity which echoed Shakespearean traditions of young male actors dressing as female characters, yet felt contemporary at a time when gender fluidity is being redefined.

Imbalance is the sort of show that makes you question your own eyes….how can Jan Patzke be standing in front of us, absorbed in his mobile phone while Maelie Palomo balances on one foot while standing on his head?! The core strength of both dancers/acrobats is phenomenal, and with no safety nets or crash mats on the stark set, their bravery is equally outstanding. The use of mobile phone and laptop screens to light the faces of the dancers was inspired. Watching them engrossed in technology at the expense of a human being in close proximity was something we all recognised and vowed to do less often. The strength and tenderness of Jan was the subject of our after show drinks chatter….he could be a great Bond villain too!

This week Reunion is on. Strong and sexy flamenco and some interesting rhythms to play with.  My friend plays Flamenco guitar, so I’m used to clapping, or rather, trying to clap to stark beats that slow right down to heart fluttering pauses, or rapidly increases so that you try to overlap your own claps! Expect smouldering passion….there’s nothing wimpy about Flamenco.
Following the Flamenco, the shows in the rest of the season are  Ballet Black on 25 & 26 May  and Plan B for Utopia on 7 June  visit  dancexchange.org.uk/performances to find out more.

charliejordan.co.uk