For the past ten years this company has been run by the British choreographer Tim Rushton. During that time it has gained an enviable reputation from Europe to America and Australia.

So it is perhaps surprising that this is the first time Rushton, (who has just received an MBE for his services to dance), has brought his company to his own country.

Oxford was the first stop on their tour of the UK, and it’s quite a coup for the Playhouse to have brought them here.

Rushton is classically trained — he began in the Royal Ballet — but it’s quite clear from the three works that the company is showing on the tour that he has moved over completely into contemporary dance. This is no bad thing, as he and his work fit this company’s style, and its excellent dancers, very well.

All three pieces are arresting in their contrasting ways, but the opener, Enigma, is the most polished and satisfying. Rushton told me that this completely abstract work is intended to be a series of puzzles, as its title suggests. Refined to half its original length of over an hour, this is basically a series of gorgeous duets and ensembles, danced to a remarkable score by Mathias Friis-Hansen.

What these puzzles are is open to debate, but what matters is that this is a beautiful work that immediately demonstrates both Rushton’s ability, and the talents of his dancers.

CaDance is the result of the choreographer’s wish to highlight the strengths of the company’s five excellent men — although the fifth only comes on stage towards the end.

This is an exciting, competitive piece, in which the men are pushed hard through a sequence of often aggressive combinations, while, behind them, two drummers crack out Andy Pape’s percussive score. It’s quite violent at times, and gives a feeling of a power-struggle among the males of a small, confined community. Kridt (which means ‘chalk’ in Danish) is a rather baffling piece, based on some beautiful string music by Peteris Vask. All nine dancers are involved in this work, which concerns a dying man looking back at the people and events that have shaped his life.

That’s all very well, but to the first-time viewer it isn’t clear what these events are, or how the people depicted fit into the man’s past. Judged purely as another completely abstract work, Kridt has satisfying moments, but it is too long for its own good, and leaves one wondering what one has failed to comprehend.