Friday, October 06, 2017

Pause & Effect - a beautiful fusion of dance & theatre (Maiden Voyage Dance)

“Embrace your inner eight year old” said Maiden Voyage’s artistic director Nicola Curry when I arrived. My friends and family will realise that wouldn’t be much of a stretch! And it was clear from the start that the primary school audience sitting in their colourful uniforms in The MAC were entranced by the on stage actions of Red, Yellow, Green and Blue, more properly, Hannah Rogerson, Vasiliki Stasinaki, David Ogle and Ryan O’Neill.

Pause & Effect is a dance performance pitched at families and young children. Foam blocks are used to construct the set and props, and deconstructed with the touch of a toe or the fling of a arm into the stacked up edifice.

The shout of “pause” arrests the performance and gives time to think before the next action. (It also makes some of the cast deliberately wobble unsteadily provoking laughs.) Willie Drennan’s foot-tapping soundtrack drives the pace and – unprovoked – the children begin to clap along with the strong rhythm at today’s matinee.

Time is a constant theme of the movement. The transformation of one object to a pile of bricks creates new possibilities: with space to imagine, the chaos can actually become the beginning of a river. As an adult I can see identities and protective shells being constructed and torn down. As a child, I’d probably see that too as the actions and reactions are pretty universal.

Pause & Effect is choreographed by Eleesha Drennan who has created a beautiful fusion of dance and theatre in a slapstick world of partnership and creativity. The movements are fluid (and disguise the technical complexity of the dancing) and there are always several things going on even when one dancer is soloing at the front of the stage, so no one can get bored.

The ending is nearly tear-inducingly perfect with a sweet scene that captivated young and old and is enhanced by Joe Fletcher’s lighting. With a back catalogue of work that includes Quartet for 15 Chairs, Maiden Voyage Dance are continuing to produce work that can serve as a high quality introduction to movement and dance as well as entertaining and enjoyable shows.

Pause & Effect is being performed in the MAC until 7 October [SOLD OUT] before it tours Theatre at The Mill (Newtownabbey), Island Arts Centre (Lisburn) and The Market Place Theatre (Armagh).

No comments: