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The Competition – Fontanella Dance Company – Review

The Competition – Fontanella Dance Company – Review
Find out more about Fontanella Dance Company here.

“The Competition… an interactive feis
– An interactive and live digital dance performance where you decide the winner.”

Photos by  Shaun Vaughan

It almost goes without saying at this point that this piece was an online production, but it had a few individual quirks that made it stand out from the rest. The production featured a live performance with four dancers and two musicians. There were also pre-recorded interview segments that were interspliced with the dance segments. The final piece of the puzzle was an interactive segment that allowed audience members to vote for their favourite dancer and eventually decide the winner!

The four dancers were dressed in simple flowing garb in strong, vibrant colours which contrasted well with the black and white background. The set was largely white with black lines breaking the stage into squares and diagonal lines across the back wall. The musicians were visible at the back of the stage, with Paddy Kiernan on banjo and Dale McKay on percussion.

At the end of each dance segment, the MC Bryan Quinn invited the audience to vote for their favourite dancer, with the names of the four dancers appearing on screen. There was no elimination, as they do in TV shows like x-factor, and the four dancers remained on stage throughout. The only real impact from the vote was the position the dancers would take on stage at the start of the next performance.

After each segment, there was a pre-recorded interview with one of the dancers. These short pieces showed aspects of their home life with the performers talking about how they got involved in dance and their experiences at feis competitions in their youth!

This was a fun and vibrant production that wasn’t solely about the dance. It explored many of the possibilities that online productions allow. The camera was not stationary and at times it moved amongst the dancers, while at other times the view was from high overhead! While there are many drawbacks to having a remote experience it also allows for new possibilities. It’s impressive to see theatre and dance companies starting to explore them more fully.

In association with Town Hall Theatre Galway, Galway Theatre Festival, Nenagh Arts Centre & Dance Limerick.

Cast and Crew:
Sarah Fennell (Dancer)
James Greenan (Dancer)
Laura Lundy (Dancer)
Yuki Noyima (Dancer)
Paddy Kiernan (Musician)
Dale McKay (Musician)
Bryan Quinn (MC/Dramaturge)
Susan Collins (Lighting Design & Operator)
Stuart Condron (Sound Engineer)
Lucy Dawson (Live Video Production/ Live Video Switcher)
Kristyn Fontannella (Choreographer/Director/Set Design)
Jane Hanberry (Producer)
Darach Ó Ruairc (Production Manager/Set Design/Camera Operator)
Johnathan Tweedie (Creative Consultant)
Shane Vaughan (Live Video Production/ Camera Operator/ Video Editor)
Cherie White (Costume Designer & Maker)

Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review

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