Review: Precious Metal and Night Wandering

Irish Modern Dance Theatre are certainly celebrating their 25th anniversary in style this time with a double bill of dance fusion compositions. The first piece of the evening, “Night Wandering” although not choreographed by Scott, is a reset by “Jean Freebury” of Merce Cunnighams original choreography, reimagining a piece first created in 1958. This “pas de deux” is an engaging grotesque ballet fusion, harking back to the romantic ballets featuring the “prince” like dancer and the “beast” both flawlessly working together to tell fairy-tale like story accompanied by a reminiscent wintery design.

The main highlight of the night however is Precious Metal, a shining example of Contemporary Irish Dance. Ryan O’Neill, Kevin Coquelard and Mufutau Yusuf (all of which performed in Lear as the three sisters) return in form with the additional presence of Florence Welalo, all four of whom were equally as entertaining and exciting to watch as they were an ensemble. O’Neill opens the show in a humorous manner inviting the audience to participate in what seems to be his warm up, breaking the language barrier between those not versed in dance theatre and potentially giving us a brief glimpse into their devising process. Eric Wurtzs lighting design was warm and inviting using a striking silver and gold pallet accentuating the performers and their abilities. Humour is laced throughout the performance, Coquelard and Welalo in particular with their asides and their brash, larger than life movements. The back drop although effective, was a myriad of suspended objects which unfortunately was never further examined.

Precious Metal demonstrates on a number of levels the wonderful theme of “togetherness”, the dancers costumes reflecting base metals which turned into treasured ones by the end, demonstrating the potential of golds ability to mix and take on the characteristics of what surrounds it.

Having attended Lear, and not having been fully convinced by the piece, Precious Metal melted my previous expectations and forged a new admiration for the work being done with Irish Modern Dance Theatre.

Ciarán Gallagher

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