The River @ The Briggait
Barrowland Ballet, the Macrobert, and East London Dance present The River, a performance piece that takes its audience on a journey from the Briggait along the Clyde, and back again.
Choreographed by Natasha Gilmore, artistic director of Barrowland Ballet, The River kicks off with languid, flowing movement, fitting to the waters associated with the piece’s title. The numerous dancers involved come from a range of backgrounds and showcase the entire spectrum of ages; some are dancers at a professional level (Jade Adamson, Kai-Wen Chuang, Julie Ann Minaai, Natalie Trewwinard, Vince Virr, Chrissie Ardill, Hayley Earlam, Salma Faraji) while others compose the recruits specifically for this piece, like the Leap of Faith group, made up of more mature dancers.
Overall, Gilmore’s choreography and the musical arrangements by Katy Cooper, alongside Quee MacArthur’s musical direction, work well together. In particular, the dance sequence reflecting the lives of people who are too busy talking on the phone or commuting to even talk to each other comes across as a very intelligent piece of work, aware of its surroundings and its time. It eventually escalates into the safer and more elegant version of a street party on the banks of the Clyde. The sheer scale of the performance reveals it to be well-thought out, but at the same time doesn’t subtract from its ability to be entertaining, fun, and engaging.