There is absolutely no doubt that LCP Dance Theatre have the best of intentions, using their creative work to bring awareness to human rights issues such as human trafficking, and working with victims of abuse directly. This year they bring Escape 2 to the Fringe, an adaptation of their earlier work Escape, which is a collaboration between choreographers Joanna Puchala (also artistic director of LCP Dance Theatre) and Natalie Taylor.
The production is an eclectic mix of contemporary dance, aerial pole dance, and projection, and is accompanied by music by Stefano Guzzetti. There is thus certainly a lot of potential here to create something interesting and unique. However, despite the dancers spending a lot of time in the air, the work as a whole doesn’t really get off the ground.
This is mostly down to the lack of a strong, overarching choreographic idea. The work feels far more like it has been patched together from a list of “things we can do”, rather than from a robust concept of the entire work. To be fair, some of these things are in themselves engaging to see: the dancers are very adept and very much at home on the pole, and what they do on there is often striking and technically challenging. Other things, such as the dancers floor work and the use of projection (shadowed by the pole), work less well.
The music doesn’t help the dancers either. Lacking direction, it witters on annoyingly in the background, and doesn’t act as much of a foil for the choreography: there is nothing here for the dancers to push against.
All things considered, Escape 2 needs to be clearer in what it wants to deliver creatively, as from this perspective, it is too pell-mell. This is unfortunate, as because of this, the important message that LCP Dance Theatre clearly want to deliver, gets lost.