Meitheal/Worst Case Scenario @ Dance Base
Two pieces sharply contrasting in tone, max.IMEALLdance’s Meitheal and Taciturn Dance Company’s Worst Case Scenario are presented side by side at Dance Base. A controlled and stately work, Meitheal opens on an elegantly executed solo, scored by traditional Irish music from Siamsa Tíre. The word ‘Meitheal’ describes a sort of farm labour co-op that operated historically in rural areas in Ireland. With this performance, choreographer and dancer Rob Heaslip translates this theme of cooperation and the sharing of physical labour into a work that is characterised by clean lines and elegant symmetry.
Following the traditional Irish music of the opening, a more contemporary, electronic soundtrack accompanies choreography that is precise and mathematical, with the dancers’ fields of movement demarcated by squares, rectangles and circles of light. Unison sequences executed by all the company are interspersed with segments performed by trios or quartets, in which the dancers engage in tightly woven movement that repeats itself in rhythmical waves. Although a cleanly executed and atmospheric piece, there was no moment of surprise or unfamiliarity in the choreography, an absence which lessened its impact.
Less serious in tone, Worst Case Scenario is a high-spirited jape by three members of Taciturn Dance Company, an all-female group hailing from Liverpool. A Three Stooges-esque bit of scuffling at the opening sets the tone for the rest of the piece, which is a farce based around a recording of a reading from Worst Case Scenario – Survival Handbook. Unfortunately, some of the gags don’t really hit home and a flat ending lets the piece down. Although it's clear that these are three talented and capable performers, the premise for the piece doesn't quite pan out in performance.