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.