Note: This review is from the 2022 Fringe

Bold Moves, from Ballet Ireland, is a double-bill of contrasting choreography by Irish female choreographers Zoe Ashe-Browne and Margueritte Donlon.

US is a short piece by Zoe Ashe-Browne. A reflective depiction of the sense of belonging, home, and space of the nomadic nature of artists.

Seven multi-cultural dancers, Marc Comellas (Spain), Enzo Convert (Italy), Nathan Cornwell, Massimo Margaria (Italy), Kesi Olley-Dorey, Ainhoa Segrera (Spain), Theo Vanpop (France), dance a story of the friendships and relationships people form away from home.

A beautiful piece, with stunning costumes by Isabella Hemann, which had a touch of the Spanish fashion brand Desigual about them, uses the simple setting of a railway station, a loud clicking clock, and background train announcements to reflect time and travel, combined with the starkness of just one solitary railway bench to signify the nomadic and often lonely nature of these artists’ existence and the significance of the lifelong relationships they form.  A poignant but beautiful piece from a first-rate multi-cultural group of dancers.

Strokes through the Tail by Marguerite Donlon is a comical piece created in 2005 for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2005. It takes inspiration from Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, with this providing the music for the work to create a dance piece for six dancers, five males and one female that combines accomplished dancing and a delightful hint of flippancy, joy, and comic value.

The only female dancer, the striking and ethereal red-headed Kesi Olley-Dorey, in her toile skirt is the centre of attention surrounded by five conductors/musicians/dancers in their tail-coats. With balletic and contemporary moves, they all interact playfully with their limbs making exaggerated yet comical moves.

The costume changes add much humour as the male dancers adopt her costume, toile skirts, and become the ballerinas, while Olley-Dorey gets her own back by donning the conductor garb.  It has an air of Matthew Bourne’s male swans but also shows off their athletic male bodies. There’s a playful, whimsical interaction between the dancers, with them each trying to steal the show.

Strokes Through The Tail is a fun, vibrant piece with virtuosic dancers, which has us leaving with smiles on our faces.