Body and Forgetting + The Wake | Dublin Dance Festival
Star Rating: 4/5
Body and Forgetting + The Wake - Dublin Dance Festival
Modern dance can be a tough sell to those who aren't already wrapped up in its delights. Believe me, when asked to review the opening night of the 8th Dublin Dance Festival, I was less than giddy. But how dull would life be if we never tried new things, right?
Thankfully, I had little to worry about, after enjoying two engaging performances last night (FRIDAY) at the Samuel Beckett Theatre in Trinity College Dublin. The festival opened with a double bill - the first being the world premiere of Body and Forgetting, a hauntingly subtle piece by the Liz Roche Company.
This marriage of live performance and audio visual - four stage dancers took turns to mimic the movements of their counterparts on film - was both spectral, yet mournful. At times those on film would stare out towards the audience, through the camera, like they were trying to deliver a message - but what they were trying to say remained a mystery. Meanwhile, the stage performers switched between sudden, frenetic motions, and slow, eloquent stirrings. The festival notes said that this piece explored themes of loss, separation, hope and control - and that came across brilliantly, thanks to the performances of those on stage and the music of Denis Roche.
In terms of deciphering the narrative at work, I'll admit I was at a loss, but throughout the performance I always wanted to know what would come next, and was enthralled by the deliberate, yet graceful, movements of those on stage. The second part of the double bill was The Wake, choreographed by Sarah Dowling, an Associate Artist at the Royal Opera House. Here we saw two soloists from the Royal Ballet sharing the stage with two traditional Irish musicians. The performance revolved around the death of a husband, and centred on the love shared between him and his wife, as she imagined what it would be like to hold him and move with him one last time. The music, choreography and lighting did a superb job of telling the story, and was engaging throughout, but this piece lacked the depth of feeling seen in the earlier show.
As I said earlier, modern dance may not be for everyone, but if you are thinking about dipping your toe in, or you're just a little curious, there's no better time than during the festival, which runs until May 26.
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Monday 14th May 2012 | Theatre
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