Louise's review of Artificial Things

Posted by admin on 06 Mar 2014 in

Blogger Louise has been teaching yoga for 10 years and runs classes near to her home in the Peak Disctrict. She is a mum to two little one's. Louise reviewed Stopgap Dance Company's performance of Artificial Things on Friday 28 February. Louise.jpg

'Stopgap is a theatre dance company that seeks to seamlessly integrate dancers with and without disabilities. It is this integration which makes their work 'exceptional'.  'Difference is our means and our method' is their encouraging and uniting motto.

 Artistic Director, Lucy Bennett, has put together a remarkably powerful performance, representing Unity,  Acceptance and Strength, expressed by five very talented differently abled dancers.

The first scene had an enigmatic feel about it as dancers moved both beautifully and awkwardly across the intimate stage setting.  There was an underlying theme of synergy, yet also disorder.  The story became clearer as it unfolded. As the programme elucidated, 'a group of individuals seek escape in a bash of riotous rock-n-roll, their wild disorder descends into playground politics and reveals some uncomfortable truths'. This theme was maintained through the three scenes of the production.

Each of the five dancers radiated the most amazing and different energy, from magnetic, charming to seductive, curious, and unique. Their strength was magnificent and awe-inspiring. The moves appeared to be a melding of traditional Yoga asana with acrobatic and contemporary dance: incredible limbs perfecting incredible abstract shapes with and without props.  Stunning, powerful, entrancing solos contrasted with moments when the company were united as one. The effect was a hypnotic and enigmatic performance, drawing you in to its deep penetrating moods.

The next scene was set at a train station with a ticking clock and loud rock-n-roll blaring. The shocking start led to an equally sinister finale.  The 'bully' of the story is shown a mirror to help him understand and feel remorse for his actions, sadly resulting in tragedy for him. The costumes were intriguing and the music powerful, matching the mood of the dancers. The dancers' movements were acrobatic, as they moved across the stage on upturned chairs. There was a fun abstract feel as a 'Henry Hoover' integrated himself onto the stage and 'Geoffrey', an empty suit, inspired by the artwork of Serbian artist Goran Djurovic, was positioned on a chair throughout.

Scene 3, inspired by a 'Snow Globe',  delicately placed paper cuttings  were strewn across the stage.  As the dancers moved though them, patterns of their movements were created and the paper floated around them. The resulting effect was of the wind blowing and snow falling; turbulent, yet beautiful as the dancers became one.  At one point, a dancer was lifted by another in a shoulder stand, creating the impression of flying. The turquoise costumes and the lighting were magical, casting shadows across the stage and audience.  Then was the mystifying solo of David, which was remarkable.  He seemed full of sorrow, his expression deep and captivating.  He then put on the suit jacket from Geoffrey and left the legs behind, maybe making the point that he doesn't need them!

There were several times when dancers had to remain still for long periods of time; a feat in its own right, demonstrating strength and concentration.   The stage is incredibly close to the audience, drawing you in and giving the dancers something to bounce off and absorb.  Being able to watch every detail of movement, every muscle move, was fascinating.

Deda was the perfect venue to host this performance. The intimate feel of the stage and proximity of the audience to the dancers meant the performers and the audience almost became one entity.  The after show talk with the dancers and Artistic Director allowed the audience to express the strong emotions the performance had evoked, as well as unravel some of the more mystifying elements.

I was attracted by this performance as my son has Autism.  It was very emotional and  inspiring to watch how the energy of performers can capture the imagination of the viewer and with it, bring acceptance of an array of differences.  Perhaps others were also watching from the same angle and experienced the same pleasure and peace that it brought to me.'




Writing  Déda Theatre    actor  comedy  Hen Party  Déda Board  Wendy  mythology  storytelling  Youth  photo  Dance4  Derby  jive  Vale  Tour  Celebrate  East Midlands  student, work experience   ballroom  Dance  Rock 'n' Roll  student  BBC  offer  Dance Development  professional  Hires  Déda Bloggers  Course  Greek  social media  Déda Refurb  Competition  Creativity  Dancing  Print  digital  Path  words  BA Dance  Summer  café  education  celebration  Just Imagine Working Here  Simon Armitage  Workshops  Sleep  business  InCompany  disco  Circus  corporate  Derby University  variety  Derby Theatre  Déda  Degree  hubbub  Discusssion  September  Theatre  Poetry  funding  story  Shows  Illuminos  Choice  Hydra  Udance  Audience  Brochure  Stopgap  Wellbeing  projection  Stompers  Derby Arts  New Dimensions  Social  event  research  Southbank  New Art Club  cabaret  food  Foxtrot  Poetry Performance  party  Children and young people  Derby Festé  Tutor  Classes  books  Fifties  artist  regular  partner  Back pain  University  Strictly  Midlands  young people  dyslexia  Studying  feedback  T42 Residency  ArtCore  Udancebythesea  Deda  Cultural Vision  choreography  Ballet  Sky Academy  Performace  Poet  development  retro  Baby Shower  U.Dance  ACE Midlands  Bounceback  Michaela Butter  Building work  Yoga  Danish+  Shakespeare  fun  performance  network  DJ  history  Coordinator  Outdoor Events  reading  Jasmin Vardimon  inclusive  Kathak  meeting  commercial  City centre  AGM  family  Arts Council  carnival  review  dance, placement  club  Autumn  Zumba  Icarus  dancer  Plus One  Productions  QUAD  Blog  siteline  Routine  Aakash  learning  study  apprentice  training  CUBE  Inspiring  Adaire To Dance  Career  Planning  hula hoop  Fresher  Book Club  New Year  placement  wedding  vintage  work experience  expansion  facilities  group  University of Derby  office  Journalism  Alice Vale  Higher Education  Stress  Ashtanga  marketing  Hercules  acting  DYDC  Stephen Munn  Regional  Ben Spiller  birds  Dance Career  Derby Book Festival  50s  Participation  interview  Plymouth  refurbishment  Festivals  contemporary  Community  Arts Award  socialise  Studio