Walls Talk – Project Arts Centre – Review
Review by Frank L.
Dates: 25 Feb – 29 Feb
Eriu Dance Company presents Walls Talk
Breándan de Gallaí has a curriculum vitae that encompasses the role of being a principal dancer with Riverdance. Those days are now part of his past and he has created new works such as “Linger” and “the Rite of Spring” in more recent times. Walls Talk is his latest piece which brings together de Gallaí and singer Gina Boreham and seeks to explore memory in the everyday objects which form part of our past.
The stage is bare, other than for a collection of objects off centre. These include a pair of cinema seats, a rocking horse, a gramophone, a violin, a microphone along with other odds and ends. The only thing the objects have in common is that they are linked to our collective past. Both de Gallaí and Boreham are barefoot. Gradually, the objects are rearranged by them around the perimeter of the stage.
From the beginning, Boreham sings various songs accompanied by a soundtrack composed and/or arranged by a group consisting of Joe Cisbi, Zac Gvi, Paddy Mulcahy and Fiachra O Corragain. Boreham has a fine voice and sang each tune well but without any facial or hand gestures. De Gallaí moved in a manner which was skilled but did not seem to relate to the words being sung. In addition each performer had spoken parts which included a piece from Synge’s “Playboy of the Western World”. At one stage de Gallaí puts on his dancing shoes and shows his proficiency as a step dancer although for this viewer this part of the performance was marred by having Boreham standing in his sightline. It would have been wiser for Boreham to have been standing either behind or parallel to de Gallaí.
De Gallaí has described the piece as “an assemblage of fragments”. This undoubtedly is true. He has also stated that “this chaotic cacophony makes unexpectedly harmonious bedfellows.” This statement is more problematic as the music, the lyrics, the voice and the dance did not come together to make a whole greater than its parts however well each of those parts was performed individually.