Up & Over It – Back on our Feet @ Assembly George Square
Riverdance alumni 'Up and Over It' take a sledgehammer to Irish dancing stereotypes
Any show that both takes the piss out of Michael Flatley and references the iconic Kerrygold ad featuring the line: "Dad, who’s takin’ the horse to France?" is worth talking about. Couple these two items with blistering Irish dance performances and you’re onto a winner.
With multiple costume and tempo changes, Riverdance veterans and multi-award winning dancers Suzanne Cleary and Peter Harding present their zany cabaret show Up and Over It – Back on Our Feet at Assembly George Square. Showcasing their talent as dancers and their flair for comedic entertainment, the piece is based on the theme of breaking out of the traditional Irish dancing mould.
The show opens with a video clip showing Cleary and Harding as a pair of Irish dancing android puppets. This is followed by a sequence of live, robotic jigging to some twee traditional music before the dancers tear off their paraphernalia to launch into a soaring duet scored by a decidedly more contemporary track. This theme of confinement/breaking out runs throughout the show, with the help of some stylised video artistry from the duo's manager, Jonny Reed.
One of the highlights of the performance is Cleary and Harding’s rendition of their viral YouTube hit, hand dancing. Originating from Irish dancers practicing their steps with their hands on a table-top, this is a mysteriously compelling skill that the performers have developed into an art form in itself.
An exhibition of rhythmic precision worthy of a metronome coupled with superlative Irish dancing skills, the only thing that mars the show is the cramped confines of the performance space; you get the feeling that the duo never really get to fully extend themselves in some segments. That said, this is an inventive, light-hearted and accomplished show that deserves to be seen.