Introducing one of our volunteer dance reviewers, Jodie Stapleton:
I graduated from the University of Chichester with a BA (Hons) in Dance in 2013. Since then I have spent time travelling South East Asia, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and South America. I am now back in Devon hoping to carry on developing my own education in Dance and complete my teacher training next year.
Review of Promise of Departure | Panta Rei Danseteater
by Jodie Stapleton
Saturday 12 May 2018 at Rattery Village Hall, Supported by Villages in Action.
Panta Rei, a Norwegian dance company are touring the South West with this 2 part dance work. It is set up as a trio, with solos and duets interlinking the piece. The soundtrack is created with a backing track of pop songs and electronic sounds as well as the dancers own voices. They tell us stories of their childhood, regrets of their past and also sing in their mother tongue. The audience are set up on two sides of the stage space, peering in on the dancers, like we are watching through a window in to the soul of the piece. We are invited to join them in their world, spectators of their process to find a physical response to life’s biggest questions.
The piece starts off lively and carefree, the dancers introduce themselves and they begin to make connections and explore movement patterns together. As the piece moves on we begin to see the emotional weight of choices they make. We hear their regrets and through simple repetitive phrases the dancers show us the emotional phases of how life shapes us. It is what makes us human. By the end of the first half we are back to celebrating life and the audience are invited to participate in moving with the dancers on stage.
The second half opens with each dancer creating a pathway across the space using theatre dust which leaves footprints as they move. The powder maps their movement and each connection they make. We are captured by their contact work which steadily becomes more frantic and more powerful interspersed with phrases of synchronized movement. The childhood songs they sing give a ghostly feel to the space.
It was easy to be captured by the dancers and their vulnerability. Each one of them was forced to examine their choices, who they look to for support and why. It left us reeling with questions of our own and wondering what if?
Top Image: Panta Rei Danseteater