In this world premiere of Exalt, Marc Brew has created an exceptionally emotive, eloquently choreographed, ultimately uplifting piece of work.
Choreographed in collaboration with the dancers of Scottish Ballet and inclusive dance development company Indepen-dance who provide opportunities for people with a diverse range of abilities, this is a joyous celebration of movement: challenging our pre-conceptions about who can be labelled a ‘dancer’ and demonstrating just what those without rigorous formal training can achieve.
To a sonorous score by Nils Frahm, the two companies seamlessly blend to create an hypnotic and involving work. The solos, group and whole ensemble sequences demonstrate an inventive and original range of movement, expertly matched to the requirements of each dancer.
I defy anyone who sees this not be entranced. It is a piece that firmly cements Marc Brew’s reputation as one of the world’s finest living choreographers.
Reviewed on Fri 24 Apr 2015 as part of Dance International Glasgow festival
Acclaimed Australian choreographer Marc Brew showcases his unique movement vocabulary and choreographic diversity in this inspirational and emotive triple bill.
Nocturne, is a contemporary dance quartet featuring an original score by Gary Lloyd and prose spoken by author Iain Banks. The opening piece of the programme, it gives the audience a glimpse through city windows at dusk, allowing us to furtively share the intimate moments and restless motions of the bedtime ritual. To its credit it resists the temptation to overuse the jagged, staccato movements which seem to dominate contemporary dance, instead the choreography is expressive, lyrical, flowing, and above all, accessible.
Remember When, Brew’s signature solo piece and the second element of the triple bill, draws upon his life experiences. At 20 years old Brew was injured in a car crash and confined to a wheelchair, as he folds and unfolds his body in this short segment, placing and replacing his limbs, he manages to convey an astounding range and depth of emotion as well as movement which clearly communicates to the audience the journey he has taken to get to where he is.
Aiming to explore the similarities and differences between classical ballet and contemporary dance and questioning whether these elements can be joined successfully, Fusional Fragments is a unique collaboration between Brew, world renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and prolific TV and film composer Philip Sheppard. The dancers display immense technical skill, agility and precision throughout the work, presenting themselves warrior-like as they interact with Andy Hamer’s striking lighting design and Glennie herself, as she stalks the stage weaving through them, playing an astonishing array of familiar and many more unfamiliar instruments, creating soundscapes which in turn hypnotise, energise and inspire their movements. Glennie’s live performance is the aural icing on the cake and the exceptional dancers and choreography, the visual.
The dancers are strong, dynamic and refreshingly quirky and individual, giving a unique, arresting feeling to this inspirational company and the choreography is compelling and mesmerising. This is a diverse programme and an ideal one to capture and keep those new to contemporary dance. The key to its success is its length, at around 20, 10 and 30 minutes for each element, it grabs and holds the audience’s attention from start to finish, its skilful editing ensuring that we see only the finest quality movement. Inspiring and essential viewing for dance fans.