Introducing one of our volunteer dance reviewers, Ami Fullalove:
After graduating from Masters Performing Arts College in Essex, Ami appeared in many professional productions before settling in Devon to become a Business Relationship Manager within a wholesale dancewear company where she organised an annual conference for dance teachers at the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London. After realising her love of Event organising Ami moved to a company to coordinate training for Social Workers. Missing the world of Dance Ami is thrilled to be reviewing dance productions for Dance in Devon. .
Review of Chapters of Diagnosis | S.E.E.D.S Dance Company,
by Ami Fullalove
Thursday 26 October 2017 at Cygnet Theatre, Exeter
Chapters of Diagnosis is a multimedia experience following three characters who suffer with OCD and anxiety to explore what it is to live with these conditions.
Lit in the corner of the stage on arrival was a small artist’s impression, a still life depicting the subject matter by Michaela Adamcova. As the lights went down, a short film began to play, created by Izzy Ripley and voiced by Maggie Sniffen. In it, an animated character – aptly named ‘Ani’ – set the scene by talking about her ex-periences. Jerky animation combined with a hollow-eyed portrayal of ‘Ani’ illus-trated the fragmented and haunting nature of panic and OCD.
Next, we cut to three dancers, Rachael Bayliss, Holly Durant and Catarina Lau get-ting into position on an armchair – the supposed comfort of the chair in direct jux-taposition with the discomfort of the subject matter and the dancers.
The first dancer’s story centred around being coaxed to attend a party. Anxieties of being around people and strangers came across well and the whole section was danced in reverse, demonstrating how anxieties may be felt retrospectively and an event lived over and over as the individual analyses every little moment.
We then heard the second dancer’s story, a reenactment of a bus journey and find-ing the ‘perfect’ seat on a bus. This section added a much needed light hearted touch to a serious subject, but perhaps not quite enough to prevent the overall piece feeling slightly bogged down by the weight of its reflections.
We then drifted into a higher level of anxiety showing common OCD manifestations of light-switching, frantic tidying, and insomnia. The dancers then came together in unison with a clever arrangement of fast-paced work that acted as a literal repre-sentation of racing OCD thought patterns.
The piece ended how it began, with the dancers back in the sofa chair. To my mind it seemed a fitting way of showing how living with this illness is like being trapped in a cycle without end – a cycle that begins again each day.
Top Image: S.E.E.D.S Dance Company