News & Blogs

9 January 2020
Author: Graham Watts & Emma Hopley

Tue 28 Jan: Company Concentric/ Matter Of Fact/ Dominic Harrison & Nathan Cornwell

Company Concentric Remainder

Matter of Fact Era We Are

Dominic Harrison & Nathan Cornwell Early Bird

The evening began with a third consecutive foray into Resolution by Company Concentric, a collective comprising Yanaëlle Thiran, Shivaangee Agrawal and pianist, Mikaela Livadiotis. Remainder gently probed their respective cultures, crossing boundaries and establishing ties of mutuality to offset their differences. Agrawal’s bharatanatyam solo punctuated the contemporary language and the notion of connectivity was further conceptualised through the passing of a length of lustrous white fabric between the performers (Livadiotis extended the duet when not playing piano). Repetition and gesture were dominant motifs, particularly through hand movements that juggled invisible objects or revived memories of handling that satiny cloth. A more substantial work might be wrought from this fascinating concept, which resonated with Siobhan Davies’ ongoing inquiry into the associations between human movement and inanimate material.

Kim Carnes’ Bette Davis Eyes and The Human League’s Don’t You Want Me – two of the most memorable songs from 1981 – book-ended Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl (the odd-one-out since it was released in the 60s) as both a point of reference for Erin Pollitt’s Era We Are and the backdrop for three varied vignettes, danced with charismatic appeal by Daisy Howell and Fanny Pouillot. An imaginative opening suggested Howell as a carefree bopping figment of Pouillot’s imagination with the latter lost in the inner world of her headphones. Roles then reversed as Howell watched in bemusement while Pouillot moved in silent compliance with unheard instructions and they finally danced together to The Human League, completing this humorous but uneven triptych tribute to the 80s.

Early Bird was a haunting finale. Dominic Harrison and Nathan Cornwell - two English dancers from Ballet Ireland – choreographed and performed a professional work of emotional depth and maturity that deals poignantly with the loneliness of a long distance life. Each creative element gelled into a powerful sense of theatre with Harrison’s own superb lighting design and plaintive musical arrangement to the fore. A few snatched sentences of an elderly widow’s reminiscences and an impactful ending of an enforced and immobile solitude served as sentimental reminders of the relentless passage of time.

Graham Watts

Resolution’s Tuesday night offering was a suite of three duets united by their musicality, separated by strong thematic choices, together creating a powerful evening of dance. Remainder, by Company Concentric, opens in focussed silence, so drawing all eyes to the swishing and swirling of the fabric cradled by three women. Mikaela Livadiotis moves to her keyboard to provide a discordant soundscape: driving the movement, urging their bodies to create an endless swirl of swishing, floating motions. The piece comments on international unity, weaving classical Indian movement with codified modern vocabulary. Though, I’m not sure I’d have made the translation without the programme note. The women painstakingly fold the fabric, attempting to contain the reams. Loosely mirroring each other, they never quite fall into step.

Matter of Fact’s Fanny Pouillot bobs and sings endearingly along to her headphones, in a somewhat constrained fashion. Supported by 80s classic Brown Eyed Girl, Daisy Howell joins and commands the stage in a powerful solo, painting fluid lines across the stage while simultaneously hitting isolations with gusto. As they connect, the women move in perfect unison, creating a cocktail of classic dance moves mixed with a smooth, grounded contemporary twist. Pouillot continues to wrestle free of her constraints - allowing the music to take her. It’s strong dance, but perhaps they could turn up the volume on their facial expressions and relationship to match the era of liberation.

Dominic Harrison and Nathan Cornwell’s Early Bird is a lens focusing on the lives of the elderly, especially the crushing loneliness that comes from the loss of friends and human connection. Strong lighting creates zones and pathways, emphasising the scenes of isolation and heightening the intensity of their plight. Both having trained classically, Harrison and Cornwell execute their choreography with easy confidence, though never lack the depth of character required for their chosen subject matter. The music is emotive, and, though at times I feel that the transitions are contrived, others are pleasantly surprising. I'm so invested in the dancers and their unfolding relationship that I don’t want the lights to go down.

Emma Hopley


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