Introducing one of our volunteer dance reviewers, Hannah Cook:
I am currently studying BA(hons)Dance Theatre at Plymouth University. Prior to this, my training mostly consisted of classical ballet, until beginning contemporary dance alongside A-Level Dance at my Sixth Form in Cornwall. Completing my A-Level in Dance sparked my interest in exploring Dance as a career. I hope to explore this interest with Dance in Devon, as well as to further my love of watching live dance performances.
Review of The Knot | Didy Veldman + Umanoove, by Hannah Cook
Wednesday 28th November 2018, The Arts Institute, University of Plymouth.
‘The Knot’ by Umanoove/Didy Veldman depicts a traditional western view of marriage. The stage was set with many chairs placed around the stage with long lights hanging across the backdrop. It looked picture perfect.
Each member of the cast was an extremely talented dancer; technically their movement was near perfect with a clarity and ease that felt effortless to watch. Most of the performers spent most of their time spinning endlessly or balancing on one leg-very impressive.
Despite this, I felt that I wasn’t watching a wedding cast. I felt more as if I was watching a group of individuals-I didn’t believe the marriage moments because I couldn’t feel their connections with each other. Every true moment of connection (looking at each other, moments of stillness) were so fleeting that I could barely catch a glimpse of them. As a result, I didn’t feel the heartbreak of being left alone, I didn’t feel the rush of happiness at finding someone to be with, I didn’t feel the frustration of everything not being quite perfect.
Moving forward, my favourite moment of the whole piece was a slow-motion scene of the group trying to catch the bouquet. I saw everyone’s faces truly come alive and I really felt the anger of the woman who was pushed to the back, and I really believed the joy of the person who finally got to the bouquet.
Their faces told the story more than their bodies did. I want to see more of this. This performance was delicate; the dancers were soft and graceful, the set was pretty, the movement was lovely. I just wanted more of the juxtaposition-give me the struggle, give me the hardships and the downfalls. Isn’t that what marriage, ultimately, is?
Top Image: The Knot – Umanoove and Didy Veldman