The Sudden – Project Arts Centre – Dublin Dance Festival – Review

The Sudden - Photo by Ros KavanaghThe SuddenProject Arts CentreDublin Dance Festival – Review

Dance / Festival / 24-25 May 2023

Virtuosity – noun – great skill in music or another artistic pursuit.

As you enter the Main space in the Project Arts Centre, one of the Pan Pan theatre company members greets you with a smile! They hand you an oversized white T-shirt which you are requested to wear for the duration of the performance. These t-shirts have a variety of words or phrases printed on them. Some have quirky statements like ‘Everyone fancies me’, others only have one cryptic word. These t-shirts are used for a variety of different purposes throughout the production.

A series of trellis tables fill the centre of the stage in the Project. There is a machine dispensing soft serve Ice cream along with various nibbles and non-alcoholic drinks. Some particularly lucky members of the audience have been invited up on stage to sample the tasty morsels. As the show starts, we learn that this is actually the after-show party. There was a mistake on the website and the show started an hour earlier. The four performers emerge from backstage and the production starts in earnest.

This is a new work by Pan Pan Theatre Company. While Pan Pan has been in the Dublin Dance Festival previously with Quad, they are not normally associated with the world of dance. This is an experiment from the theatre company as they travel into uncharted waters.

There are stories told along the way, as we hear elements from the dancer’s lives. One has previously performed for Colonel Gaddafi. Another spent time in Russia studying Ballet and drinking Vodka! There are also a number of dance sequences, as the dancers perform as individuals and as part of a troupe. The music (by Jimmy Eadie) is inventive, with electronic music, along with unusual cover versions of some well-known rock and pop songs, such as Smells like Teen Spirit and Baby, One More Time. There is also a level of audience participation, but it can be easily avoided by not making eye contact!

This show has a multitude of different themes and directions. There are animal impressions, dance, stories and many, many t-shirt changes! If you’re looking for a straightforward dance performance, you’re probably in the wrong place. While the dance sequences are surprisingly strong, they are only one element in this wide-ranging production. Whether it’s dance or theatre, Pan Pan continues to be one of the most inventive companies around.

Cast & Crew:
Created by Salma Ataya, Vitor Bassi, Aedín Cosgrove, Jimmy Eadie, Mollyanna Ennis, Grace Morgan, Katherine O’Malley and Gavin Quinn
Performed by Salma Ataya, Vitor Bassi, Mollyanna Ennis and Katherine O’Malley
Dramaturg – Nicholas Johnson
Music by Jimmy Eadie

Categories: Dance, Festivals, Header, Theatre, Theatre Review

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