Resolution! has a way of challenging your expectations: the pieces you look forward to seeing aren't always what you thought they'd be, and other works on the programme often end up surprising you - and in a good way.

The first work on tonight's programme was by Dena Lague's Rubedo Dance. Dena Lague is known to many as being part of the Matthew Bourne family, and indeed, a number of her dancers were familiar from past works by both Matthew Bourne and Drew McOnie.

The programme notes for Gestus - "Five dancers share the space to explore facets of their individual characteristics and energies" - suggested that the work would be largely improvised, and indeed the opening solo by Kanako Nakano felt more improvised than rehearsed, due to its spontaneity. The second solo, by Grace Hann, seemed to have Isadora Duncan influences, due to Vinci's expressiveness and fluidity; as Gestus developed, the Isadora Duncan influences appeared to multiply. 

Gestus appears to have been driven by the dancers' individual movement rather than by Dena Lague's choreography, however the most interesting dynamics of the piece were when the dancers interacted, forcing them to break out of their self-absorbed bubbles. And Carrie Johnson deserves a special mention of her own: her solo was more engaging than the others, as she's the kind of dancer who immediately draws the audience in. Great performances by great dancers, even if the material could have had more impact.

Butoh is both challenging to perform and to watch, so it was a surprise to see it on the Resolution! programme - and even more of a surprise to see it performed relatively well.

Sadler's Wells describes Butoh as "highly charged stillness and very embodied slow motion" (source:, and while Selina Papoutseli and Tom Lyall didn't fully accomplish either aspect - the former through selecting poses which were difficult to sustain over longer periods of time, the latter through moving a little too quickly at times - a 15-minute piece is too brief for conventional butoh, and Papoutseli and Lyall succesfully conveyed the ethos of butoh in a bite-sized portion.

This is butoh. Selina Papoutseli stood on tiptoe, holding a twig aloft. After a very long time, she lifted her other arm. And then she shifted her focus to the branch. Behind her, Tom Lyall carried a yellow cube and red pompoms. In a work like this, you appreciate the tiny details: the striking imagery, the effectiveness of Selina Papoutseli's facial expressions, especially as she struggled to maintain a pose, and the impact of Cis O'Boyle's striking lighting design. Most inspired of all was the scene where the audience watched the muscles in Lyall's back move - that's a very impressive piece of choreography in itself. Butoh isn't to everyone's taste, so Selina Papoutseli and Tom Lyall are to be congratulated for making it more accessible to tonight's Resolution! audience.

It might have seemed surprising to have a 25-minute solo last on tonight's programme, but only people unfamiliar with Anne-Gaëlle Thiriot's work would have thought that.

As the audience filed back into the auditorium, a disembodied voice announced that "the next tour is about to start", while the set consisted of hanging laundry bags, with piles of discarded laundry underneath. Once Vertigos was ready to start, Anne-Gaëlle announced that the tour guide was absent and that she would be taking his or her place, and proceeded to hand flags to two people towards the rear of the audience: "in case somebody gets lost during the tour, please wave your flag."

The clothes on the stage became part of the story, affecting Anne-Gaëlle's movement style and persona: we saw her become a diverse array of the characters, as each item of clothing gave her the opportunity to revisit memories and previous incarnations of herself.

Vertigos is a stream-of-consciousness solo which takes the audience on a personal, if very exhausting journey, always telling a story even if the audience doesn't always know what it's about. Anne-Gaëlle Thiriot is extremely engaging and compelling to watch, bonding well with the audience, and able to hold an audience captive, whether performing her own version of beatboxing, or in the haunting final scene, with an ethereal song by Hamlet Gonashvili ( accompanying her duel with the laundry bags.

At 25 minutes in length, Anne-Gaëlle Thiriot's Vertigos is a rich and rewarding experience: if only it was in the Place Prize finals, where it belongs!