‘Francis Footwork’ is a fun, happy spectacle combining the art of storytelling with energetic dance. The story, lyrically narrated by Emma O’Kane, brings us to a dancing land not so far away where the realm’s dancing future is threatened by an evil baddy who hasn’t found his own rhythm. We are taken on a virtual tour of the Kingdom by a demonstration of the subjects’ signature dance moves. There is an array of styles from break-dancing to more classical movement, accompanied by music which complements the fluctuating atmosphere of the performance, from joyous, to tense and exciting.
The characters’ anthropomorphic names adds to the simple but clever narrative and speaks to all ages. King Two-Left-Feet is a particularly funny creation, whose performance; by Jonathan Mitchell has the perfect degree of slap stick for the role. His movements in conjunction with the other dancers are comical and gracefully catastrophic.
The use of light and dark to signify good and evil is effective and satisfying, giving the story a nice arc which is easy to follow for younger members of the audience. The decision to use a Phone Screen (held in front of one of the performer’s face to divert his attention) to corrupt and disrupt the dancers from their dancing is an amusing reminder for audience members, particularly parents, that phones, laptops and TVs drain creativity and prevent us from real and meaningful interactions.
All in all this was a fun day out for the family. It was engaging and had children and adults alike captivated for the duration of the performance (approx 50 minutes).
Review by Florence McGowan