Dance Detectives Dance Review Reviewer Sydney Thomson 1SMiss Meikleham Arbroath High School
I was talking to my friend about a dance show I had recently seen. I told her that the show was by Scottish Dance Theatre, and she looked at me with a funny expression on her face. She wondered why I went to seedancers parade around the floor in tartan skirts. I said that Scottish dance isn’t just about highland dancing and Scottish music, it can be anything you want it to be. Scottish Dance Theatre is very different and it has been said that it pushes boundaries. The dance we watched definitely proved that. Having already seen the show in February, seeing it again made me realise just how good it was. The dance piece we watched, ’NQR’ (which stands for ‘not quite right’), was fantastic and it really encouraged us to think outside of the box. As one of the choreographers Caroline Bowditch said, there is an image we all have of what is ‘normal’, and with this dance they use awkward and unusual movements which are ‘not quite right.’ I was happily surprised to find that the show involved two disabled dancers, who were also the main choreographers of the show. I thought this was a really great thing to do, as not many other dance groups do this. Being able to perform in a wheelchair is just amazing. The way the dancers moved was very vibrant, and there were many moves I hadn’t seen before. Having two disabled dancers and eight able-bodied dancers led me to expect a more limited range of movements, but Marc Brew made up a sequence,used in NQR,to which each dancer could add their own personal flair. Facial expressions added to the emotion of the show. Thesewere very neutral, but that fitted in with the story of the dance about how people just want to fit in. That idea also fitted in with the costumes which were very dark and dull in the first half. In the second half, the dancers changed into suits, but many of the dancers had something missing. One of the dancers wore suit trousers and a jacket, but no shirt, and another wore a dress and only one sock. I found that the costumes were very different, but it was very clever as what they wore was somehow ‘not quite right.’ There was very little set - just the boxesthey used in the dance. The way they used them was very interesting, and they were involved in the dance in so many different ways. The dancers sat on them, lay on them, danced on them, but also stood them up so that the audience saw the shadows of their bodies through the light. They also used wheelchairs as part of the dance, and what really surprised me was the way that Caroline and Marc managed to move around the stage gracefully. The lighting plays a big part in a dance show becauseit highlights the area of the stage you are meant to be focused on, and it also affects your emotions. There was no coloured light used, as the company just used spotlights to highlight the dancers. When you first heard the music it grabbed your attention and pulled you in. There was no singing, just a cello playing, but this worked quite well as it kept the audience focused in the dancing. Overall, I really loved the show becauseit was different to any performance I have seen before and I thought that the ideas behind it were excellent. I enjoyed studying dance in P.E.because we learnt somenew and interesting moves. I also really enjoyed learning about all different types of dance in my English class.