Irish modern dance theatre - walking it like they talk it

Feature by Rebecca Paul and Antony Sammeroff | 09 Aug 2011

The Actions start casually. Two bare-footed, joggy-wearing dancers meander on stage like ragdolls and - shockingly - chat casually, playfully accusing the other of messing up their routines. The frigid perfection of the prim and silent ballet dancer is shattered: the naturalism of the dialogue comfortably immerses the audience in a fantasy rehearsal environment.

Then they two spiral and twist, contorting their bodies together and writhing apart, frequently breaking away from one another and retiring to opposite ends of the stage to perform individual statuesque poses. As they move effortlessly as one, the tone of their sporadic conversation wouldn’t be out of place in the pub, over a pint.

The athletic movements of two very different bodies shift from frantic one second to serene the next as both men lift, lean, curl, stretch and wind together.

At times, the dancers stay in their own world of motion, then, in moments of irony, chat about to the audience for comic effect. Suddenly,requests are taken from the audience as to how they should move across the stage.The banter continues throughout and the audience titters along as each dancer accuses the other petulantly:
“You didn’t listen to me.”
“You didn’t say anything.”
“You have to listen to my body.”

The nonchalant chattering of the performers, having provided an entry point for the audience, then gives way to a moving silence towards the end. A silence made even louder by the absence of voice.

The pace slows. Bodies are held still. One static movement is stretched into an eternity and perfection is re-established.

Dance Base, 5 - 21 Aug 2011, various times