WHITEOUT by Barrowland Ballet

Barrowland Ballet presents WHITEOUT

By choreographer and director Natasha Gilmore

The Barrowland Ballet Company performed WHITEOUT on Saturday 4th March 2017. A beautifully symbolic performance about Gilmore’s personal experiences of marriage and motherhood of bi-racial children and the complexities of relationships. WHITEOUT presents an elegant touch on such an important and strong subject, allowing for honesty and some humour. Gilmore talks about her change in responsibilities as a parent and how becoming aware of her children’s ethnicity effected choices made. Original roles were created by the dancers, this could be seen through their individuality within the performance. This depicted by both the music and their movement style. However, at times using a refreshing amount of unison, it was enjoyable to see this technique used more in practice.

The performance allowed for a beautiful use of music and movement correlation, allowing the music to give an impulse in their style and timing within the performance. Incorporating falling and rising, the dancers gave a sophisticated and graceful use of weight, contraction and stillness. Some movement remained a little restrictive, however showing a more classical approach to choreography. Use of repetition was clear and allowed the audience to engage with the performance, really showing a strong sense of connection. A cultured correlation of sound and vocals were also incorporated into the work, a moving and touching effect that gave individuality and a sense of culture.  Thus adding to the dancer’s exploration of becoming more connected with the performance.

The lighting within the work was powerful and connected well with the movement material. Moving in parallel lines this allowed the dancers to come together and connect via contact. Although not always in direct contact but via the sensing of each other. This was beautifully executed highlighting both the idea of moving together but not always having the ability to remain together. The use of weight, counter balance and holding was clear within the performance, giving a strong symbolic style of love and partnership. The contact and lifts used were nicely portrayed and executed.

The use of video footage gave an added transition from movement, the footage was perfectly created and gave a further deeper emotion and connection for the audience. Thus allowing the audience to engage more within the performance. It portrayed fun, community and family forming a strong and continuous composition of film and dance. Smooth transitions in prop moving was clear with the use of sound to help further this movement.

A further section within the piece was very much enjoyed, allowing for individuality and a fabulous technique. This being the section of found sound used through foot tapping/stomping and vocals. This was executed flawlessly and explored more, expanding the dancer’s abilities and giving more to the performance. This was progressive showing a crescendo in the sound created, giving a fluid and continuous moment in which connected well with the work created. The harmonies really gave some added emotion and exceptional skill, allowing for a further sense of partnership and cohesiveness. WHITEOUT gave a tasteful approach to movement material and showed a clear and elegant connection to the theme, it was beautiful to watch this performance progress and allowed the audience to move with it.

We thank Barrowland Ballet and Natasha Gilmore for their beautiful and elegant performance that provoked emotion and allowed for a variety of classical and explored techniques. We hope to see Barrowland Ballet again soon and look forward to further performances.

Critique and Blog Editor:

Megan Rainford BA


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