Former Scottish Ballet principal Eve Mutso and the award-winning Liadain Herriott push themselves in this short double-bill of deeply personal solos.
Eve Mutso, a former Scottish Ballet principal dancer returns to Dance Base with her third work. Unknown explores the theme of uncertainty and the inescapable part that taking risk and accepting the possibility of failure plays in life, resulting in the experiences that make us who we are.
Collaborating with Merlin Bonning for the score and Matthew Strachan for the lighting and set design, which is no more than a beautifully lit, steel triangular frame, Musto interacts with the space, dressed in a simple black leotard and long chiffon skirt, which contrast dramatically with her blonde hair.
With extraordinary strength and flexibility, her moves are fluid – sometimes like an athlete caught in slow motion – and she uses her arms to appear as though some other being is part of this piece, caressing her. It’s a beautiful work, pushing the boundaries of the traditional ballet she is so renowned for, and takes her dance to another level.
Liadain Herriott, winner of Best Performer at the 2015 Dublin Fringe, presents the story of a classical lass finding her way in a modern world. A lass like any other, trying to find her way in, out and through the darkness, chasing the light, which is provided by a single, old fashioned, lamp-shaded light.
Her quest itself creates a universe where fragments make sense and sense is fragmented; where classical movement and music, including those from Handel, Grieg, Mahler and Tchaikovsky, morph with minimal electronic beats from the likes of Shane Latimer and Eomac.
With her wavy, red hair, white foundation and rouge cheeks, Heriott resembles a late 18th century woman. She alternates between graceful classical ballet and frenetic moves, with the staccato electronic beats seeming to take over her body and own her at times, as she dances around the stage with a fixed glaze.
Whilst it’s an interesting piece, and another work like Musto’s, pushing the boundaries of their classical training, Liminal is so dimly lit that some of the moves are lost in the darkness and difficult to determine, thus losing their effectiveness and the point being made.
The two works nonetheless make for an interesting double-bill and are worth catching in this short run of only seven performances, but for those looking for the beauty and gracefulness of pointe shoes and classical ballet, this might not be the show for them.