Mark Morris Presents Pepperland

Mark Morris Dance Group Presents…


Review writer- Megan Rainford BA

Beginning with the music of course, Mark Morris dazzled us with a splendid newly explored take on the Beatles album ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club’, celebrating 50 years. With Ethan Iverson composing the spectacular re-make of six of the original songs, the audience were surprisingly entertained with the newly developed music score. The sound was refreshing and cleverly executed with ease, giving clear dynamic changes and textures throughout the performance, allowing the dancers to move in and out of time. The dancers entered the space with vibrant and colourful costumes, taking the audience on a journey through a classically choreographed work. With sweeping movement and counter balancing throughout, the material showed clear relationships.

Strong choreographic devices were explored throughout the performance, however remaining steady in the variety of movement, very much focusing on repetition. Switching from group to solo and duet work, Morris is determined and successful in the creation of perfectly executed and rehearsed patterns and pathways. Although not original, it showed beautiful technique and a strong cohesive company. The movement allowed for a contrast in a strong balletic form, to a sense of fluid jerking movement with connection to the 60s flower power and hippy atmosphere.

The methodical movement showed a fabulous spatial awareness with exciting and unexpected lifts, throwing and catching the dancers in the space. Exploring the use of pedestrian and symbolic phrases, the performers moved in and out of time with the music. Allowing for connection to the music in a variety of ways, inviting the audience to explore the concept of music influence on movement. Not only was music a key theme within this performance, but Morris gave the dancers an opportunity to explore this further through vocals. This was beautifully achieved with clear intent and continuity. A sense of joining and thoughtfulness was clearly presented.

With the finale showing a grand collaboration, with fun and humorous engagement, the dancers show a cyclical ending, truly taking the audience on a journey through time. Both audience members and performers can be seen to rightfully enjoy this performance, its history and its exploration of fantastic music. A wonderful performance, that although may be classical in choreography, the idea remains original and unique to Mark Morris.



MDI Presents…



The Artistic Takeover was a fabulous event that created the opportunity to collaborate with a variety of companies, sharing and working to produce a creative and inspired evening. The performance evening allowed for the audience to experience site specific works. This involved us walking around the Make space to follow works within the differing locations. The evening buzzed with lots of people and the interactive areas were so much fun, giving the audience time to laugh, chat and share experiences.

Love me…a tender duet

First we welcomed to the Beer Garden, Anoikis with their performance work ‘Love Me…a tender duet’. The performance was expressive and incorporated the use of props. This being a pole in the space and a black leather jacket that passed amongst the dancers throughout the performance, a clear resemblance of control and power. The jacket moved between the dancers, creating contact between them. The use of a pole created the illusion of a mike stand giving the dancers a further prop to create work and explore further techniques. The movement remained constant and repetitive and some additional development would have allowed for further interest. An interesting feature was the use of live music within the piece, using a DJ dek to produce distorted sound of Alvis Presley. This was creative and allowed for a new feature. The movement remained constant and further contact work was added, this gave more depth throughout the performance. We thank Anoikis for their performance within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017.


Next within the Reception area, we welcomed Sole Rebel Tap and their work ‘Taproots’. The collaborative work was well presented and really gave a cohesive performance. The guitar playing and tap movement really meshed well, giving a successful performance that showed both these techniques elegantly. The movement was beautifully executed and the technique was flawless throughout the whole performance. The duet worked well together to create a clean performance, sections within the piece gave a slight improvised impression, however, this adding a nice effect. Thus giving more depth and a raw sense of passion to the performance. The tapper and guitarist remained in mental contact, using their bodies and eye contact to engage nicely with each other. The tap technique was really interesting using strong spins and tap wings to explore this discipline. There was a variety of choreographed techniques that were developed and explored, showing an interesting and well-presented work. The sound played within the performance was rhythmic and fluent, a sophisticated performance.  We thank Sole Rebel Tap for their work within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017.

Edge FWD

The next performance we welcomed to the Beer Garden, ‘Edge FWD’ from Edge Hill University. The all-male performance, dressed in matching white attire really gave a spectacular performance. A pleasing work that both impressed and excited the audience. A triple threat as the male group moved swiftly, sang beautifully and captured the audience with their ability to hold the space. The piece was well rehearsed and truly indulged the audience with its creative and clean material. It was clear and a pleasure to watch a cohesive group enjoy working together. The powerful work moving in unison and in a variety of multiple groups switching and changing gave depth and originality. With the use of both live music (a guitar player) and audio sound was perfectly chosen and created imagination. The movement was fluid, moving and scooping through the space. It was executed with such power and emotion. Contact work was expansive and explored a mix of techniques, from guiding each dancer to good use of weight, balance and trust. A friendly vibe was portrayed throughout the entirety of the performance, allowing for character and perfect technique. We thank Edge FWD for their fantastic work within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017.

(Bring your own beat)

Moving back to the reception space we welcomed Onur Orkut and his performance ‘(bring your own beat). This piece showing the effects of music on dance and within everyday life. An interesting concept of bringing your own music to the performance, this enabled new technique and new features to be created. The movement improvisation was fluid and continuous, beautifully executed. It was instigated after the performance that the work had no meaning or was to portray a story, this a refreshing take on choreography and movement material. It was a lovely and relaxed performance that did not have any pre-conceptions thus allowing for a natural piece to be performed. We thank Onur Orkut for his performance within the LEAP Dance Festival 207.

Rowena Gander

Within the same location, however a different space, we welcomed next, Rowena Gander and her performance work. Showing perfect and flawless technique, the material was beautifully choreographed and allowed for fluidity. The movement showed a creative use of dynamics and focus, giving the audience a stunning performance. The use of core control was clearly present, helping to create further fluidity and complex movement. The material was well thought out and the raw connection between pole and contemporary was excellently portrayed, showing the audience a different way in which to work with pole movement. As the performer moved in all directions, the audience placed around the dancer explored the piece from a variety of perspectives, thus giving differing viewpoints. This allowed us to experience the piece differently and gave us the ability to connect to movement however we wished. This was a nice idea in which explored strong techniques. The sound and lighting within the work really complimented the piece giving a pulsing effect that created depth and a fabulous atmosphere. The performance remained constant and as movement initiated movement a clear connection was born. We thank Rowena Gander for sharing her exquisite work within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017.

Eleno Vivar

As we moved into the main space, we welcomed Maria Malone and her work ‘Eleno Vivar’. Entering the space within a spotlight, the beautiful costume captured the audience. Also incorporating tap shoes into the performance, the material developed. Clicking with her hands, the movement material was further explored and the spoken word beautifully executed with conviction and confidence. Becoming a matador, fighting the wild beast the piece was expressive and created a story that held the audience. Although the material was nicely portrayed and creative, further development could have been explored in relation to space. The found sound, clicking, stomping and body tapping was striking, exploring and showing good technique and timing within the work. The piece was well rehearsed and the vocals were clear and precise. The performer was easy to listen to, enabling good communication and connection with the audience. We thank Maria Malone for her piece within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017.

Awaiting Acknowledgment

Within the main space of the Make Warehouse, we welcomed to the floor Adam John Roberts and his work ‘Awaiting Acknowledgment’. Showing a fantastic collaboration of both movement material and technology, the piece was performed with perfect accuracy and timing. The movement remained fluid throughout and allowed for a deep connection within the space. The techniques incorporated into the work were creative and the focus used within both video footage and live performance showed the up most standard. The theme of the work was accurately portrayed and showed great depth within movement style and interaction with props and technology. The differing angles represented from the objects in the space showed creativity and beautiful complexity. It was really exciting to see this type of work, giving the audience a variety of perspectives but from one location. The collaboration was stunning and created a natural and raw connection to both the performer himself and the audience. The performer rolled through the space using fall and release, the practise was executed with precise placement and was clearly well performed. At times, brighter lighting within the space may have been beneficial to allow movement to be more clearly seen. However, the movement remained elegant and detailed, remaining professional within the work. We thank Adam John Roberts for his performance within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017.

Hidden in Plain Sight

Next in the space, we welcomed Felix Ologbosere and his work ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’, with percussion and vocals by Clement Ule and Opeyemi Oyeyebi. The performance began with video footage projected onto the cyclorama. A well portrayed collaboration of footage, giving a clear insight into the work ahead. As the performer began scooping, arching and fluidly moving through the space, the movement was continuous and handsomely performed. The uplifting movement moved swiftly through the space, using a piece of material to develop further movement techniques. Whipping and creating circular motions with the white material this added dimension to the space, further giving connection to the theme. The movement was executed with perfect accuracy and the stillness and slow motion techniques used were subtle and beautifully elegant. Live music and vocals begun within the performance, a real treat for audience members. It is always exciting to be present for live music. It adds a natural atmosphere that in turn adds another dimension to the already existing space. The sound was collaborative and graceful, allowing for smooth transitions within the sound and movement. The performers changed instruments throughout the piece, really showing a vast amount of technique and performance skill. As we moved through the piece from section to section, we followed the theme gradually as it remained clear. Although at times, some sections became elongated, this development was interesting but caused some disjunction at times within the work. The solo held the space beautifully and the movement remained creative, allowing the arms to expand through the space, the torso engaged and very much engulfed the space showing fantastic spatial awareness. We thank Felix, Clement and Opeyemi for their work within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017.

‘Laughs, years and tears’

Finally we welcomed to the space choreographer Helen McCarron and Lauren Tucker with the performance piece ‘Laughs, years and tears’. With humour and creativity the piece portrayed wit and thought as the characters within the work were shown. From differing trends and social groups we witness a variety of attributes from multiple characters, allowing for a theme to progress and a strong connection with the audience. When working in unison the movement remained clear and precise, powerfully executed and performed with confidence. The material was intriguing and really grasped the audience’s attention as they incorporated the whole space, moving through the audience they became involved and allowed for further interest. The characters we encountered throughout the performance were precise, with much thought in costume, sound, personality and identity. There are section of the piece in which touch on the struggles to fit in within the social norm, using a mirror to allow for reflection the dancer pulls at her outfit and begins to viciously rub the face. Thus showing further character building and identities within High School years. The variety of costumes really gave a clear sense of characters and the movement was well thought out, giving vibrant contribution to the character. The sound was perfectly chosen and established a creative performance that had the audience in stiches. The use of scenery was also well chosen, giving the space depth and character allowing for a fabulous atmosphere. We thank Helen McCarron for her work within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017.

We thank all companies and artists for their contribution within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017, it was a spectacular evening that provoked thought and collaboration.



Throughout the LEAP Dance Festival 2017, the Make space has provided a stunning area that has provided opportunities to a whole host of artists and choreographers. The vibrant location gave foundations for connections and conversations between artists and admirers of the art. The bar area facilitated beverages and snacks with friendly service rounding off an excellent night out.

The space held opportunity for audience interaction whether it be through technology, the conversation starter projections of older footage, to the chalk board for comments and memories, to the interactive space with the dance cutout and the leaping sticker wall. #MakeMeLEAP

The space was well received offering a variety of aspects to get involved in, an enjoyable space in which created a new way of presenting dance work.

Make Venue from an audience perspective

The Make Venue has a very raw feel to it. The bare bones look of the stage, tier seating and interactive space allows for the technology and soft furnishings to not appear overwhelming. A change from every-day life. The choice in furniture in the bar and beer garden gave a warm rustic feel to the space. Personally I loved the accompanying heat cannons they gave a powerful heat enough for the entire venue. I felt that for the rawness of the venue it was still well heated and didn’t need the assistance of the complimentary blankets. All in all I would recommend the venue to performers and artists who can really take advantage of a warehouse ready for dance.

Anonymous – 21, Male



Project O Presents…



On Saturday 11th March 2016, MDI had the pleasure of welcoming Project O and their performance VOODOO to the Make space. What an experience! The work offered an interactive site specific work that had all audience members buzzing. This is a performance in which I believe everyone should witness at some point, it allowed for audience participation and gave off a variety of vibes. Thus giving us an uncertain and confused feel. This always keeping us engaged and wanting more.

On entering the performance space, we were told to remove all our time devices, such as, phones and watches. These were then placed into black envelopes. From then, we knew we were in for a different and enlightening performance. When moving through, we were met by a man in a black cape, thick material that looked heavy and suspicious. Walking through we moved through a black curtain and into the actual dance space…not moving to our usual location within the Make Theatre. When seated in this dark location, on what looked like wooden benches, the thudding and heart beating music played with a projection of dates and information that flooded onto a black box cyclorama that sat within the space. Knowledge filled the room as the audience read the information, history repeated through this continuous flow of facts. The sound was clear and really added to the overall atmosphere.

Introducing a variety of sounds from top charts to Nina Simone, we were captured by the whole experience. The dancers draped in white cloaks that too looked heavy sat behind the projection, visible to the audience. Wearing sunglasses and with no expression on their faces, the performers gave a dark and mysterious feel, this really portrayed emotion and some chatter amongst the audience. Smoke began to fill the space, as the performers moved slowly as if portraying slow motion through the space. This beautifully executed and not an easy technique to portray for a length of time. The movement slithered across the floor moving down the middle they moved back to their beginning location.

As the performers moved into white bags, slinking inside, the layout and dance space was moved. This initiated the changing of the seating location of the audience. This was a very interesting technique that allowed for a change in audience perspective and allowed us to feel a connection with the performance as we moved. As the scenery moved, balloons became visible, another added feature and prop in which we became intrigued with the connection and movement to come.

The space design, costume and sound was detailed and complex, allow a lot to take in. Somehow, this really worked enabling our senses to awaken with this unique and original work. Another added aspect to the set design became apparent, as hanging scenery. Bones entwined in wire set in a frame gave further depth and connected with further props used within the space. This showed incredible complexity and thought, giving the audience something to look at no matter what angle you sat or lay. Carrying black bin bags around the space, the performers gave off a wicked vibe that tormented the audience. Emptying the bags into the space, bones spilled out, crashing and clicking onto the floor. This really connecting with the scenery within the space and the vibes given by the projection and the sound. The idea again linking to history, the bones representing what has been, and what may become.

Commands and spoken audio was created throughout the performance by the performers, really showing connection to the sound. The dancers moved around the space, touching and placing on audience members. Beautifully focused and executed, the performers moved and showed stillness, appropriately engaging with all. The spoken audio moved to singing as the performers followed the Whitney Huston song, moving with the notes, they produced long notes filling the space with sound. The further commands given throughout were, harsh and sudden, as if being in control of our actions we moved location and space. Thus following their commands. Unaware of time, the performance didn’t feel long as we interacted and the progression of the piece moved from section to section, always keeping us tangled within the work. Being told to focus on our breathing we carried out our own ‘small dance’ continuously through the space, now allowing the music to take us. Moving with the music we were able to go on our own journey through the space, changing sound from Rhianna, Ne-Yo and many more, we were given this opportunity to share the space. The technique of commanding the audience still present in the background was creative and well received. As the audience carried out further movement interaction both physically and mentally was established, the audience members became the dancers. As we moved with the music, our eyes remained closed, this the only negative. A command to ‘open our eyes’ would have developed our attachment to the performance, as so much material and projection was portrayed within this section. It would be a shame to miss this movement being gorgeously executed as we were stuck within our own movement. I enjoyed the movement section, however maybe just a little shorter to allow the audience to watch the movement being carried out. The material was seamless and fluid creating stunning positions and sweeping motions. As the dancers fell through the space catching and releasing, it moved with the sound and remained cohesive.

Again, moving back to commanding the space, a well-received technique, the dancers spoke the word ‘End…end’, repeated as they exited the area the audience were located. Alongside, video footage from a variety of films including ‘The Ring’, was projected onto the cyclorama that had been replaced in the space. Thus showing a cyclical approach within the performance, giving a clear ending to the work. This gave a ghostly feel, watching horror films, allowing us to be introduced to new features, techniques and a continuous fluidity of the theme. The work had people talking and very much interested in what had just happened, it was well received and perfectly executed.

The performance incorporated so many small gestures that allowed it to stand out from other performance work, including vodka shots handed out to the audience. This was seamless and gave an added sense of suspicion and theme. A brave performance that pushed dance boundaries, really reaching for new heights, the dancers gave us more and more. The performance incorporated such a variety of techniques and attributes, I believe it is a performance in which you must see for yourself to receive a true reflection and witness the atmosphere created. An incredible piece that was unique and new, something that has opened up a new world of movement and the showing of work. We thank Project O for their work VOODOO within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017. It was a fabulous experience that left me with a new perspective of movement material and techniques that could be used.



Hetain Patel Presents…



On Thursday 9th March 2017, we welcomed to the stage… Spiderman! A cinematic and atmospheric sound that created a super and creative opening. The atmosphere began in a comical manner and continued throughout the performance with the audience laughing continuously at Patel’s wit and sarcasm. The American Man, giving a visually interesting performance, Patel incorporated celebrities off all aspects showing his imaginary, not too distant, future. His seamless performance moved between characters and sections, creating a collective and cohesive performance.

Perched on a stool, Patel began to break the fourth wall in an original manner as he created an atmosphere of portraying a filming of a vlog. Shrugging off, Patel talks about moving away from the video making, changing character due to responsibilities within life. The performance continues, always making connection and communication with the audience members. As he began to fidget from foot to foot. His character with lots of humour began to discuss his background, who he was underneath it all. Though he tried he could not release himself from the costume, entrapped. This added a sense of character building, the costume eventually was removed to reveal a white suit. Characters are important within the performance, being shown throughout.

Patel continues to chat to the audience, revealing an identity, followed by the removal of the suit. A change in atmosphere within the space was produced. Continuing to speak to the audience but having changed language, his character and person had developed further. A true and natural appearance, the body free and no longer wearing somebody else’s face.

Patel began to dress, strapping a microphone to his body, preparing for the characters we were about to encounter next. Incorporating a variety of techniques, from theatre work, acting, moving and rapping, Patel truly gave an insightful performance that led to many questions. Although at times, I believe further movement development would have added to the performance. Patel’s movement material was nicely executed and further development would have been interesting.

Many political aspects surround this piece including Barack Obama. We are introduced to his post presidential job of being head of Apple computers. Patel incorporated both humour, sarcasm and wit as he portrayed the character with accuracy. The complex characters pushed boundaries and really explored a variety of outlooks that contradict and also differences in world views. As stated ‘where freedom walks hand in hand with guilt’. Patel explored the idea of truly being honest and saying out load views that are not always accepted within society. The vast characters throughout the performance were beautifully executed with confidence and knowledge. ‘Bent into shape by society, pushed into a box we don’t belong’, really emphasising the push we receive from the world and society. Becoming oppressed by society through the morals and ideas we believe we should have.

Lighting was creative and added depth, the flickering lights alongside the rapping gave sense to an oppressive, arduous atmosphere. The dry sense of humour used throughout had the audience laughing out loud, opening up so many questions and giving the audience an opportunity to reflect in their beliefs. The performance made you question what was honestly spoken and what was correct, maybe even politically correct. How should we present ourselves…is it depicted by our society? Moving through these characters Patel expresses a diversity of opinions and statements including the constant reminder of technology. Speaking to the operative system ‘Siri’, this progressed into what Patel predicted to be a future embedded with virtual reality and people being plugged in to technology. I felt this was a very opening opinion and one not too far-fetched with current growth in technology use and the realm of VR.

With reference to men and women, Patel takes a look on gender perspectives. Using a males sitting positions he enables the audience to witness the so called male ways referring to the challenges faced by beta males when in the vicinity of the alpha male. Further, the incorporating musical genres throughout the performance such as the musical pop, contrarily represented a sometimes dark look on life and its oppressing feel. In contrast musical genres such as rap and smooth, relaxing sounds, gave a developing feel to that particular theme in the piece. The performance was complex covering so many aspects of today’s society, technology and the world in which we live in, shapeshifting through diverse characters. When taking this into account it could be quite easy to feel overwhelming and difficult to take in. Although aided with fluid and smooth transitions the sheer diversity in topics and approaches taken left me somewhat puzzled on where my opinions lay in these topics. Maybe this is exactly what Patel planned leaving the audience to question… Should we believe everything we are taught?

We thank Hetain Patel for his fantastic work within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017 and look forward to his work in the future.



Mary Pearson Presents…

FoMO, mofos!

On Wednesday 8th March 2017, we had the pleasure of welcoming Mary Pearson and her work ‘FoMO, mofos!’ to the LEAP Dance Festival 2017. On entrance to the performance, Pearson herself welcomed us with a sign with her name on. As she casually interacts with her mobile phone… a key opening theme to the performance to come. The mobile phone symbolises our ever growing digital age that allows society to be aware of all happenings through just a device, a mobile phone a laptop. We have the ability to be aware of all happenings, always wondering if there is something better happening somewhere else. As Pearson enters the space, she hands out signs throughout the audience that read ‘HERE’. One of many props in which Pearson uses to further elaborate her connection to the theme. Within the work, Pearson can be seen to break the fourth wall, involving the audience, giving them tasks and generally speaking to them.

Mary Pearson talks of her work being a solo but not a solo at the same time. Throughout her process, Pearson collaborated with a variety of artists that gave stimulus and experiences after their time together. This giving new chapters and emotions to the performance. ‘Part homage, part identity theft’, the idea that the material created was inspirational, beautifully collaborated and successfully seamless.

We are constantly made aware of other happenings, Pearson opens the stage, taking a seat she sings ‘I am here… I wanna be where you are…’ Truly showing the social and emotional impacts portrayed on people and how it can affect us. The repetition in spoken audio was effective and well received, giving a continuous and pushing vibe. This furthering the theme and portrayal that others are doing better, having better experiences, thus creating anxiety and apprehension.

Within the performance, Pearson moves through her gathered identities and portrays them differently. This gave a delightful performance that incorporated so many techniques and themes, it truly gave a meaningful performance that captured all. Moving through a peacock, a sheep and a moth, Pearson showed grace and power as she portrayed each with character and creativity. The costumes used within the performance were gorgeously used, furthermore, with a good sense of representation. Pearson began with a body suit with slits in showing a circular eye design pattern poking through the slits. As Pearson moved through the space, the slits determined her movement as she exposed the eyes to the audience. The manipulating movement, twisting and bending creating a specific style of movement. This really gave a sense of eyes watching, always watching.

The peacock costume, was graceful and allowed for Pearson to become someone else. The costume developed gradually, adding the peacock skirt, jacket, hat and gloves. As the movement swept across the space with the suitcases the peacock feathers were presented. The swift movement with the suitcases, entwining and using creative ways to move with the props. Within the cases Pearson took over further props, a branch and a knife. This gave a defensive theme, the movement swung and swiped fending off, as if protecting her identity, protecting herself. The movement throughout remained personal and clear.

The techniques used within the work were vast and included such a variety of methods, such as, singing and inventing new way of moving through a variety of experiences. When performing, Pearson sung, this was really inviting and beautifully executed. It was a pleasure to watch this in performance work and gave a great depth to the overall piece.

Incorporated into the performance, the use of fluid and continuous movement was carried out. Although, this did sometimes conflict and create some contrast in the overall presentation of the performance as it swiftly moved from section to section. The following change in prop and costume was the sheep, again incorporating fluid movement as Pearson moved out of the costumes, seamless transition. The performance further included a video footage, another technique that added to the piece. This allowed for a stunning and natural scene as we followed through a rural setting. It was another greatly executed section of the work. Movement began to develop further as Pearson tip toed through the space, bent knees and slightly curved occasionally adding torso movement. This gave a lovely sense of creation and specific style. A natural section that gave contrast to the theme, especially with the video footage occasionally and very briefly switching between rural and other settings.

The final costume shown was a moth. An added moth presented on the cyclorama gave a flickering and natural atmosphere. The specific lighting and projection allowed for shadowing to take place, giving further technique and theme. A candle was also pictured in the background, a moth to a flame. The performance continued to portray the technology and social media throughout, using her phone and highlighting this theme. Through the idea of a moth to a flame, a sense of following was portrayed, similar to that in social media… following and always wanting to know and see more.

‘How do I get down from here’… an elegant ending that gave power and connection. Having found a location, being put in a specific location, and the need to move but not always knowing how. The solution simple, to just move, a sophisticated and simple but wonderful ending. When looking at the sound used throughout the performance was well chosen and a fabulous collection and collaboration of sounds. This added depth and style to the piece.

The overall performance was truly well received and incorporated a variety of techniques. A skillful performance, with beautiful execution, timing and development. We thank Mary Pearson for her exquisite performance that encouraged thought and progression within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017.


TACITURN Presents…


On Wednesday 8th March 2017 Taciturn performed their work ‘VIEW EDIT HISTORY’, giving the audience both an entertaining and hilarious introduction. The work found the perfect balance of creating comedy, that did not over indulge the audience but sat nicely in a positive manner. ‘What’s on your mind? Let us share with you what’s on ours as we change the privacy settings a little’, a question and statement asked within the programme notes. An inclination to the use of social media today…it’s ever growing world that allows people to connect and interact with just a click of a button. The performance allowed for an insight into this constant representation of yourself and how you are seen within today’s society.

Opening with spoken audio in a dark space, the performers shared their pre performance chatter and emotions before entering the space. This really helped to build character and allowed the audience too truly gain a perspective that flowed through the rest of the performance. As the dancers entered into a bright spotlight, they donned their sparkly silver jackets, giving the audience a fun and attractive opening. The smiles portrayed on the dancer’s faces were comical, progressively getting bigger as the piece went on, giving a sense of forced happiness, putting a good face on. Gently swaying, the dancers became more and more intense and their movement built progressively becoming confident and theatrical. Frank Sinatra’s ‘When you’re smiling’, really showed connection with both the movement and the costumes, allowing for further humour. The sound was nicely chosen and allowed for a refreshing approach to style of music in which we hear in contemporary work today.

Further sound incorporated into the piece was found sound, the use of the dancer’s feet to create a constant and repetitive beat. As the three dancers carried out this sharp and angular unison movement the beat remained strong. In time, one dancer suddenly broke of creating a juxtaposition in movement, showing a more fluid and sweeping motion rolling and moving across the space. A variety of styles became apparent as the performance developed, showing glimpses of jazz, salsa, contemporary and even acting as the performers addressed and spoke to the audience. This braking the fourth wall, and very much allowing the audience to become involved. The change in movement style throughout certainly gave the dancers the ability to grasp the audience’s attention at all times, giving them a good sense of stage presence. The performers captured all with their seamless performance moving through changing dynamics, styles and emotions.

We are on the side of angels by Bing and Ruth, again changed the atmosphere. Allowing for fluid movement and arm gestures, pointing and moving together through the space. Maintaining some contact work carried out in duets, the piece showed connection and fluidity as a company. With the theme in mind, this really gave a sense of people and how they may be perceived differently by social media, how we represent ourselves.  The opposition in movement allowed for questions and showed the dancers to maintain an assortment of techniques.

One dancer using spoken audio shouted ‘5’, a number which could represent a variety of themes, even potentially showing the representation of a high five or even the number of ‘likes’ on social media. This again developed into movement and an amusing progression occurred. The performers moved seamlessly though each other, well aware of their spatial awareness and contact with each other. A cyclical approach, gave the performance structure and formation as they moved back to the Frank Sinatra soundtrack, thus allowing for development and a sense of narrative, building a strong and enjoyable piece of work.

The performance was beautifully executed incorporating fall and recovery and stillness, the piece offered a multiple use of techniques really showing a fountain of material in which the audience could connect to. The work was easy to watch, a comfortable and light performance that had something for everyone, a piece that all could enjoy. We thank Taciturn for their performance sharing within the LEAP Dance Festival, it was a fantastic work that had all laughing and a real nice sense of connection with the audience and each other.



Liz Aggiss presents…


A unique and extraordinary piece of performance work by Liz Aggiss. Both imaginative and full of humour that had the audience laughing out loud. Aggiss created a masterpiece, full of vibrant context surrounding and addressing all female perspectives, both through a literal concept and an underpinning approach to feeding information to the audience. When being present for a performance by Liz Aggiss, rules do not apply! This, a refreshing take on ways to create and show material, allowing for Aggiss to be seen and heard, giving her an identity all of her own.

Aggiss continuously breaks the fourth wall throughout the performance, finding new and imaginative ways to interact with the audience. This was achieved through multiple themes from party games and balloons passed through the audience, giving a light and fun atmosphere for everyone. It was a fabulous idea that gave a creative touch, offering great involvement for all. The audience laughed and giggled throughout giving an open and collaborative air. As Aggiss shouted commands, giving obscure tasks that provoked and welcomed them to the world of Liz Aggiss. Through watching the performance it is key to, just let the chips fall where they may, giving her all power to take you on a fantastic journey with her ever-growing wit and sarcasm.

The extravagant costumes and her ability to incorporate a variety of props outstands, adding to her ability to hold the stage with perfect presence that keeps us ever engaged. The movement material was nicely executed and original. However, repetitive at times and development could have been furthered. The arm motif was of a staccato style with angular tendencies. This allowed for a powerful stance as the arms pushed sharply through the space. Imbedded in this work of constant and fast pace movement, ‘let’s have a party’, spoken text by Aggiss was reintroduced throughout. Thus giving the on watchers a clear sense of character and a friendly gesture that the audience became familiarised with. This really gave the performance a sense of theme and her ability to be heard no matter her age or gender. ‘Are you sitting comfortably’ again another text spoken by Aggiss throughout the performance. An interesting statement to ask, however, one that truly opens up the purpose of the performance and her ability to make the audience feel a variety of emotions. Moving from becoming slightly uncomfortable to being completely immersed into her world of raunchy statements and provocative innuendos.

The performance gives Aggiss the opportunity to share thoughts and her growing content. Aggiss allows for questions and thoughts to be raised within the work with the use of a diverse amount of props, from falling coins in unexpected areas, to hilarious ventriloquism. This was an interesting technique in which caused an awakening theatrical feel. Aggiss has really created her own sense of style, giving a refreshing and comical approach to movement and the arts. Ending with a scene that gave the audience a new view, Aggiss donned her naked bum truly showing all her feminism and pushing boundaries. A constant piece of art that pushes and pulls simultaneously, with the sense of female history and gestures continuously being encountered.

The performance allowed for a display of contradictions, interpretations and themes working around girls, women, ladies, mothers, senior citizens and pensioners. Women of all aspects, moving through differing ages, social and historical research, giving Aggiss a clear view for performance material. Through the so called ‘idealistic’ attributes of contemporary dance, Aggiss was given the opportunity to use her talent as a way of contributing to the arts in an original and unique manner. Aggiss believes that with age, further determination and her further growing ideas of context, she is fighting to snatch the performance space. Although Aggiss bases her work on herself as a post war baby, where the parents were most certainly in charge, she has taken this opportunity to become the person she wanted. A truly inspirational person that shows that you can do anything in life as long as you put your mind to it. Most certainly achieving her goal of being seen and heard, we thank Liz Aggiss for her work within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017. The performance was well received and portrayed a powerful sense of performance and ability to hold the stage with her presence.


MDI Presents…



On Tuesday 7th March 2017, I had the pleasure of attending the VITAL performance incorporating multiple companies that dance and create movement. VITAL gives dancers the opportunity to focus on dance and creativity as we age. An enlightening and powerful approach to movement that gives everybody the chance to be part of the arts, giving us a fabulous sense of community and contribution within the dance world. It was a beautiful experience to watch the elegance and portrayal of strong movement within an older generation. The movement remained professional, purposeful and a clear level of enjoyment was visible. It is always a pleasure to watch performers in which you know delight in the prospect of movement and dance.

First we welcomed to the space, ‘Growing Older (Dis) Gracefully’, with their graceful and heart-warming performance. The movement remained focused as the group moved in unison. Creative movement and gestures really pushed the theme further, the holding of the face and body really gave a clear concept. The performers entwined and gathered in a calm and controlled manner. Some contact work allowed for further emphasis, nicely formed and precise. A section shows the dancers moving in clusters in the centre of the space to then break away, moving in circular pathways. The piece was nicely executed and it was a pleasure to watch the GODs perform. We thank the company for their time and commitment within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017.

The next performance in the space was a community performance group ‘RetroSpective’ performing ‘Umbrellas and Hats’. The first section of the piece included the use of umbrellas beautifully coloured. The movement was enjoyable and interesting, with patterns and twisting upbeat movement and sound. It was gorgeous to watch the dancers interact with props in a unique manner. Next within the performance, the dancers incorporated hats and chairs, giving a Bob Fosse feel, beautifully executed with humour and style. The sound was nicely chosen and had the audience tapping along. We thank RetroSpective for their sharing of work within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017.

Performing next ‘Grand Gestures Dance Company’ (GGDC) with the work ‘Murmuration and improvisation’. The video footage was stunningly portrayed, giving a fluid and continuous motion. The hand and wrist gestures were striking as they interacted and moved with the flow of the birds. As they flocked and gathered in fabulous patterns, the movement correlated and connected showing a good use of technology and technique. The footage was interesting and enjoyable to watch, we thank GGDC for their work within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017.

GGDC perform again with their piece ‘What lies beneath’, a ‘contemplation of the many layered experiences of life’. The performance was progressive, with the use of interesting props the dancers performed with confidence and intention. The performance was layered with a variety of effects from the use of movement techniques and a diverse of sound effects. The performers showed this through the use of vocals. A really full and intriguing performance. They incorporated a good use of space, with deep connections to women and appearances. The movement was original and had a deep connection to the theme. We thank GGDC for their works shared within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017 it was a pleasure to watch.

Finally, we welcomed to the stage, ’50 Moves Performance Company’, performing the work ‘See me’. Showing a behind the scene perspective in our changing and developing world, furthermore, the women that make it happen and go unnoticed. The performance swept and moved fluidly across the space, giving a beautifully continuous flow. The arm sequences and clustered formations gave a fun performance with fabulous spatial awareness. The piece had a playful feel with good use of dynamics. The performance was beautiful and graceful that showed that the performers have more to share, helping people to notice through dance. The costumes were nicely chosen and elegant with colourful sashes around the body. We thank GGDC for work within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017.

We thank all companies for taking part within the LEAP Dance Festival and hope to see further performances.


MDI presented…

Mary Prestidge

Throughout the LEAP Dance Festival 2017, we had the pleasure of welcoming Mary Prestidge and her site specific work. Throughout the festival it is also interesting to receive and incorporate audience perspective and how the performance effected or created response from others. Feedback and analysis is very important within the world of Art.

Below is a review of the performance from a member of the audience, we thank Natalie Traynor for her analysis of the performance.

Upon entering the bar area, the installation in the corner instantly drew my attention.  With projections against the two walls, one pre-recorded and the other live-feed.  Those performing engaged and focused on the moment, interacting with either the projection or each other, through the use of objects, such as a stick, a cloth and a plastic sheet.  Sound effects from the objects added to the calm yet interesting sound score, and set the tone for the installation.

 The use of everyday, pedestrian movement was fitting for the context of the bar area, and the improvisational approach gave an easy and natural feel to the social space.  At times, the performers moved away from the installation, in to other spaces, which brought an extra dimension to the work.  In these moments, the performers offered the audience the opportunity to participate with them and the props, expanding the idea of play and experimentation.  This worked well with the projected live feed, which was recording at the audience’s feet as they entered and exited the bar area.  Further making those watching a part of the installation.

Overall, this was an interesting concept, encompassing many elements such as space, interaction, technology, object, and improvisation.  I really enjoyed watching this installation and hope that there will be more work of this nature in future!

 Natalie Traynor