This inventive and thoughtful dance piece explores what we see if we take our ‘masks’ off and allows ourselves to be us and not what society expects.

Co-created and choreographed by Christopher Tendai and directed by Denzel Westley Sanderson, this fascinating dance piece brings together dance, spoken word and music to meditate on identity and discovering what it means to be you.  

At the centre of this is an unidentified character, performed by Caitlin Taylor, who takes a picture of herself and uses it as a starting point to deconstruct herself and take away society’s negativity to put herself back together and make herself into someone she likes.

Through Tendai’s choreography, the audience is really given an insight into the character’s mind and emotions – particularly through the moments in which the ensemble’s energy capture her anguish and pain through sharp and occasionally movement.

But by also using spoken word and music, Identity is given extra depth and meaning that makes it compelling to watch throughout. The whole vibe of the show feels experimental and edgy in a way that will certainly appeal to younger fans of dance – particularly when combined with Adam Mottley’s dazzling and effective lighting design and Shaun Rimmer’s experimental sound design.

The live music element by  Caitlin Taylor and original music by Sam G are filled with heartfelt phrases that really fits in with the narrative nicely. Everything feels perfectly synchronised to capture the themes with great insight to ensure that it is accessible and relatable for all.

Throughout the hour, the audience is taken on a journey of discovery and what it means to have the strength to change your perspective of yourself and to stop worrying about what expectations society has place on you. Every movement really reflects this as seen through the many sharp adjustments made in each pose that calls attention to the inner turmoil that the character feels.

All of the performers deliver commitment and energy throughout. Each individual pays extraordinary attention to detail, while ensuring that the emotion shines through their movement in a way that keeps the audience invested in the narrative that is unfolding.

It really feels like a pertinent dance piece right now, given the immense strain that everybody’s mental health is undergoing at this moment in time and the cautiously optimistic ending offers a glimmer of hope for us all.

By Emma Clarendon

Identity is available to watch until the 20th February. To buy tickets visit: https://www.ctcdancecompany.com/identity/

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐