Choreographer, writer and performer Amy Bell enters the stage in a deliberate and overly dramatic fashion. They pause, look at the audience and begin a monologue that sets the tone of the show. The Forecast takes place in the black box space of Studio 1 in Dancebase. The performer is alone on the stage, with no props or objects in the stripped back environment. Bell is wearing a pink jumpsuit that makes her standout in this sparse location and she is the obvious focal point.
The genesis for the show is the question “how is there still so little visibility for queer or unconventionally gendered women, trans and non-binary people in contemporary dance?” This is a big question that obviously cannot be fully answered in just one performance, but The Forecast fully and succinctly expresses this question. Dance and storytelling are at the heart of The Forecast. Amy Bell contorts her body in order to defy cliches of what a female dancer should look like and behave like. The sound and music for the show is by Jamie McCarthy. At times the music is a subtle drone, adding intense undertones to the performance. Here there is a feeling of anxiety that is also reflected in the words and movement of the performer.
The animation within The Forecast is without a doubt the highlight. The black canvas of the back wall acts as a screen on which large hands and arms are projected. These images are white and bold and look striking in the darkened performance space. This segment continues to emphasise the themes of the body. Animation (created by Hetain Patel) is projected onto the body of the dancer. At times the images and performer are synchronised and in complete harmony. Eventually the animation and dancer separate and the discord between the two is obvious.
The Forecast is a wonderful dance performance that brilliantly blends multimedia, animation and sound. The words and movement work incredibly well to display the themes of the show and the animation is subtle, affecting and leaves a lasting impression on the audience.