It’s nine days until Ireland votes on whether to repeal or retain the eighth amendment, and the Project Arts Centre is buzzing as audience members fill out the Space Upstairs for Liz Roche’s WRoNGHEADED. It’s no secret that Wrongheaded was devised among a multi-platform call to repeal the eighth as Roche succeeds in capitulating the horror associated with the loss of bodily autonomy, and the strength in togetherness.
The unity at the heart of Wrongheaded comes to the forefront as Roche’s stage becomes a melting pot of art. The power and beauty of Elaine Feeney’s poetry is brought to life through the spoken word, while the innovative use of Mary Wycherley’s film provides the dancers with their cinematic twins. Ray Harman’s stunning musical composition lends itself to the dancers of Wrongheaded, while Stephen Dodd’s lighting design adds clarity and warmth to the production.
At Wrongheaded’s helm are four incredible dancers (Sarah Cerneaux, Justine Cooper, Kévin Coquelard and Jack Webb), and each dancer seamlessly marries lyricism and athleticism. There is no denying their individual merits as dancers – incredible feet, exquisite lines, enviable stamina – but these dancers shine brightest in moments of stillness. A glance shared between the women for instance, or the tender and understated moment the men gently embrace the women on stage.
Both captivating and infectious, Liz Roche’s choreography is ultimately a pleasure to watch. Moments of tenderness and comedy disrupt the tension of the piece, rendering Wrongheaded a complex study of the immense capacity of body and soul. Both touching and terrifying, Roche succeeds in marrying the horror of loss with the sheer beauty of dance. As polling day draws nearer, Wrongheaded makes one thing very clear: there is strength in our bodies, and power in our art.
Review by Sarah McKenna Barry
Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire 22 May, 2018 :: paviliontheatre.ie
Hawkswell Theatre, Sligo :: 24 May, 2018 :: hawkswell.com
Liz Roche’s powerful dance piece confronts the stark realities of women’s rights and freedom of choice:
Liz Roche Company is known for its evocative and compelling dance productions and this year the company makes a very timely re-release of their powerful dance show WRoNGHEADED – just as Ireland plans to go to referendum and Repeal the Eighth, to amend its constitution on women’s rights. This multi-artistic production merges film, voice and movement and confronts the stark realities of women’s rights and freedom of choice in our country today. The show runs at Hawks Well, Sligo (May 24) for one night only.