IN LiMBO – Project Arts Centre – Review
Run now finished – Dates: 13 Feb – 14 Feb 2020
Find out more about – Kristyn Fontanella Dance
As the audience enter the theatre, the four musicians are already at the front of the stage. At one side is a percussionist, who has a small drum kit along with a Bodhrán and a steel drum. The three other musicians are on the opposite side of the stage, with violin, cello and harp. As the curtain is raised, the stage is in almost complete darkness. There are pieces of material stretch from the floor to the ceiling, which are gradually illuminated. We slowly start to notice six figures lurking in the darkness.
This is a piece by Kristyn Fontanella for six dancers and four musicians. The premier of the production was at the Firkin Crane Theatre Cork in 2018. It has just completed a tour of Ireland, with locations including Thurles, Limerick, Roscommon, Letterkenny, Portlaoise, and Ennis. The final nights of the tour were in the Project Arts Centre, Dublin.
Kristyn Fontanella is possibly best known for her lead role in Gaelforce Dance. She has also performed in the Lord of the Dance and Riverdance during her career. In more recent times she has worked as a choreographer on As We Know It (2017) and Hup. From Kristyn’s previous experience, you may have assumed this work would mainly feature traditional Irish Dancer, but it actually explores a diverse range of movement and styles.
The music varied throughout the evening, with different arrangements allowing for a wide range of styles and tempos, to compliment the movement on stage. At other times, the only sounds that could be heard was the breathing of the dancers or the slap of their bare feet against the stage floor.
One of the most striking things about the production is how stylish the piece was. With the performers all dressed in black, the simple but effective lighting made the dancers appear almost luminous against the background. The performers lurk in the half light, or at other times move from the shadows into the light. The dancers perform a wide range of styles, at times simply walking or jogging from one side of the stage to the other. There were some intricate movements as the dancers move in and out of formation. It is obvious the attention to detail that went into the rehearsal process as any wrong step could throw the whole movement into chaos. It is a strong and diverse piece that deserves to be seen by a wide audience.