Freefall Dance Company celebrated 15 years of entertaining people with a mixed programme performed to a sell-out audience at Birmingham Hippodrome performed on November’s 9th.

The evening began with a short film directed by Sima Gonsai called Outside In. Set in the lovely setting of Lunt Fort in Coventry, it offered an opportunity to two dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet’s main company to dance with them.  This is the third film that Sima has made with them and is the strongest so far. The first two films, Freefall and One Fine Day, showed us a broad range of their work and what each dancer brings to the company. With Outside In it as if they no longer have to prove themselves they simply created a beautiful “dance for camera” film. Lovely performances and direction

After Bach followed using material that they had worked on, but not included, in making the film. The spotlit dancers are spread across the stage with a series of shapes and movements that are special to Freefall. 15 years of training with Lee Fisher have given them strength and fluidity without reducing them to a rigidity of style so often associated with ballet. They own their dance.

The final piece, Seaside Rendezvous, was first created and performed by them in 2011. Inspired by the music of Queen it has moments of sadness and longing but above all shows their ability to communicate pleasure and humour.

There is no other company quite like Freefall whose movements give us such a strong sense of the the individual dancers yet somehow manage to combine into a strong ensemble approach. It’s a credit to Birmingham Royal Ballet that they can include such an unconventional company into their midst and Freefall reward them, and us, again and again with completely engaging performances.

Gus Garside