Evolutions – Project Arts Centre – Review
27-30 October 2021
Irish Modern Dance Theatre presents Evolutions
Photos by Luca Truffarelli
As you enter the Space Upstairs in the Project Arts Centre, there is a large central area where the dancers are already limbering up. The audience is seated on three sides, which allows a variety of different perspectives on the production and also spaces out the audience around the theatre. There are six performers on stage, all wearing different clothing and from a variety of different ethnic backgrounds. The work features dancers from Brazil, France, Ireland, Nigeria and Poland, giving the production a diversity that reflects a modern Ireland.
The production has a number of short segments offering different moods and themes. At times it is quite playful with the feel of a schoolyard as the performers skip around the stage or buzz like bees. In another moment, one performer is transformed into a dog with the others tickling his belly! At other times, it is more serious with several solo dances with the performers acting in isolation from the group. Each of these segments is differentiated by a change in lighting (Eric Wurtz) and also music (Michael Scott). The soundscape also traverses a wide spectrum, with drones, chimes and vocal pieces.
Towards the end of the performance, there is a spoken word segment where one of the performers unexpectedly tells us about his time studying Economics, eventually linking in the title of the piece with talk of the primordial ooze from which we all came! This is yet another enjoyable work from Irish Modern Dance Theatre who continue to reflect the changing face of Irish society.
At the end of the performance, the choreographer of this production, John Scott, took to the stage to thank the audience for attending. He explained that this production started rehearsal just before the first lockdown, in February 2020. The production took the unusual route of rehearsing via zoom and also in person when restrictions permitted. The difficulties of rehearsing a physical performance via zoom sound bizarre, to say the least. It does give the audience an appreciation of how difficult the last few years have been for those involved in the arts.
Choreography: John Scott
Soundscape: Michael Scott
Lighting Design: Eric Wurtz
Dancers: Ashley Chen, Magdalena Hylak, Favour Odusola, Sarah Ryan, Oran Leong & Alessandra Azevedo