Source presented by RADE in collaboration with Cathy Coughlan
RADE is the acronym for Recovery through Art/Drama/Education.
Recovery from what? Drug addiction. RADE is situate in the OLV Building very close to St. Patrick’s Cathedral right in the heart of historic Dublin where the eight programme participants from the locality have been rehearsing five days a week since early August. When I saw them a week ago there were twelve more working days before the first public performance of their piece entitled Source which is an interaction between dance, theatre and film and will preview on September 16th 2014 in South Studios as part of the Tiger Dublin Fringe.
While RADE was nominated for two Fringe awards in 2012, the only other time RADE has participated in the Fringe, the use of dance is a new challenge both for the management of RADE and of course for the programme members who are all on an adventure of discovery as they search within themselves for rhythms, steps, and shapes which, when orchestrated by Cathy Coughlan, create new possibilities, further rhythms, further steps and further shapes as she conducts them through the panoply of moves which they have been perfecting. There was an intense common purpose between the performers as I watched them work through a series of disciplined routines, creating something new which belongs to all of them and yet for each of them will have certain elements which each will individually own within themselves.
At this stage, the film part of the production is complete but not the screen on which it will be projected. So I have not seen how precisely the movements of the eight performers will complement or supplement the film and vice versa. That will have to wait for the completion of the rehearsals and the first public performance which of course is the very essence of theatre. The ultimate goal is the live performance before an audience.
However in the film sequences there was much which was memorable: two other programme members move with Keystone Cops like speed as they roller-painted the floors and walls of a space, a woman moving around a humble bucket within which was a source of light as she made a variety of generous and graceful arm movements which helped to define the space and a profusion of black balloons being thumped hard by both a male boxer in white strip, including gloves, and a female boxer, in white Karate costume. Both of them had power but somehow combined with an almost balletic movement of the shoulder and upper arm. These images remain.
How they will interact with the dance routines will be the magic that the entire of the performance will reveal. As of now not even the performers nor Cathy Coughlan can know what precisely they will have created by September 16th but for all the participants in Source this is the journey of creativity on which the performers are travelling. Because it is a new journey for each of them there is a unique vitality particularly where they intertwine with each other in irregular shapes and poses. Sometimes there are movements which create flashes of subliminal fear of drug related violence but on reflection many dance routines portray violence, which is regrettably part of most lives and art has a duty to portray that.
The blurb in the Festival programme states “As two contrasting worlds are presented simultaneously; performers bounce from stage to screen, from reality to fantasy, struggling to escape the linear patterns and habits that shape their everyday lives.” I have no doubt that is correct insofar it goes but I strongly suspect that the linear patterns and habits of the audiences’ everyday lives may, as they watch, undergo a few curves or even perhaps even a big bend! Let us so hope!
Preview by Frank L.