Dance International Glasgow: The Circle @ Tramway, Glasgow

Emanuel Gat's fluid and hypnotic piece, performed by the Scottish Dance Theatre, is a joy to watch

Review by Eliza Gearty | 01 Nov 2019
  • Dance International Glasgow: The Circle @ Tramway, Glasgow

What a brilliant show to be programmed for the closing night of DiG, the biennial dance event programmed and produced by the ever-dynamic Tramway. The Circle is the result of a collaboration between the internationally acclaimed cherographer Emanuel Gat and The Scottish Dance Theatre, whose Artistic Director Joan Cleville was the artist in residence at the same venue in 2017. The result is this wonderfully magnetic and mesmeric piece. 

A real sense of freedom and curiousity permeates The Circle, which sees the cast of eleven dancers responding and reacting to each-other to create seemingly improvisational patterns and sequences. The dancers' joy as they mirror each other's movements – sometimes smiling and laughing as they do so – is infectious. It reminds the viewer of the freeing and exhilarating power of dance, and is a real pleasure to watch. 

Australian designer Thomas Bradley's costume design must be acknowledged here, too. His strange, colourful, wearable sculptures are stunningly beautiful and unique, making the dancers appear genderless and somewhat sea creature-like. Its a credit to the cast that these elaborate garments never seem to get in the way of their fluidity and ease as they dance. 

The piece is set to a live recording of Squarepusher's album Ultravisitor, a soundtrack that adds to the feeling of spontaneity. At just thirty minutes long, The Circle is short but feels like exactly the right length – watching it feels like witnessing a refreshing burst of creativity. It will be exciting to see what the Scottish Dance Theatre does next.