Where did it all go right?

Audience interaction refreshingly brilliant

Feature by Virginia Kennard | 18 Aug 2010

There's a big distinction in attitude towards entertainment or art in the contemporary dance scene: either with self-proclaimed artistes refusing to pander to their audience, and grasping onto their integrity to make their envisioned work, or others chasing career longevity by ensuring their work has commercial appeal.

This either/or decision has been trampled by the wonder that is ponydance Theatre Company, an Irish-based ensemble presenting quirky and commercial yet brilliantly contemporary-minded choreography to this year’s Dance Base offerings. Being accessible has certainly not jeopardised the sheer freshness and cleverness of this work.

A site-specific work – a scene set in a bar – two women spend the course of their night out competing for a man. A little sterotypical that the blonde is more successful… but then there is the realisation that this play-off is actually what happens on a night out. Sexual tension, intimacy, manipulation, rejection, fun, end of night exhaustion: it’s all here, as well as some pointless group numbers.

It is so refreshing to see audience interaction executed so well, with no feeling of contrivance and the performers very clear in their intentions, targeting their audience members well.

A shining moment is when the thus-far wallpaper barman starts cleaning his teeth, seemingly oblivious to the emotional carnage on the dance floor. This wonderfully increases his moment of surprise when he leaps out later to perform a high-kicking Flashdance extravaganza.

There is certainly conflict here too, between wishing be part of the immense fun on stage and wanting to watch to make sure no action is missed! ponydance - are there any jobs available?


Where did it all go right?, Dance Base at GHQ, 11- 22, Aug, £5