Review: Call to mind

Review: Call to mind

The Young at Art Festival has always pushed boundaries and they brought the premiere of a magnificent piece of live dance for the over tens audience to The Crescent Arts Centre as part of their festival at the weekend. Performed by a live band and three dancers, Call to Mind was loosely based on a Harold Pinter play, Old Times, and examined memory and the way the past influences the present. But that is to make the narrative sound concrete, obvious, when in fact it was fluid and suggestive, given wonderfully naturalistic moves by award-winning choreographer Sarah Golding.

It began with ambient sound from harp, keyboard and percussion as the three dancers hung out behind a swirl of dry ice. The music is key throughout and there is a sense of joy about dancing to some of the jazz-rock sounds.  They chatted, desultory, then sprang into action as composer percussionist Steve Davis’ drum beat really got going. It is, as Golding says, ‘super physical’. The woman, excellent Clara Kerr, placed the men and the three created images suggesting direction, pointing, pausing to make shapes, now dancing the same moves, now individual. It was in terms of story telling fairly abstract overall, although we had a pas de deux depicting a relationship between one of the male dancers, Michael McEvoy, and the woman towards the end. This suggested love, attraction, also argument and something more problematic. Secrets are meant to be part of the mix, according to Maiden Voyage Dance Company Artistic Director Nicola Curry who commissioned the piece but she says we all bring our own interpretation to a performance.

One passage involving dancer Gerard Headley solo suggested he was being manhandled more than once, we’re not sure if attacked, and this was well suggested with his shirt collar visibly felt. This could have been his secret, but he was absorbed into the trio of dancers afterwards.

Set in an urban world of briefly viewed parties, but also anxiety (a repeated nervy two step motif was performed by all three dancers together, hauntingly), Call to Mind called modern experience to mind. And did it very well.

Jane Hardy

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