We Should be Dancing plays out a choreographic score stolen from young children. Five dancers, three males, and two females re-enact the playful curiosity of children’s movements, transporting us to a time before our adult movements became stifled and rigid. The dance reminds us of the unbalanced, confident or sometimes unconfident moves that as children we make as we learn to explore our environment.
Drawing inspiration from filming young children in playgrounds, the adult dancers re-enact the natural, often clumsy moves of these youngsters, as they explore their thirst for adventure, and interact with the other children and objects within the playground setting. Classical string music and a backdrop of a screen with white writing projected onto it accompany the dance.
The piece begins comically with the dancers staring at the audience, and initially, there is no context for the moves we begin to witness. But the big reveal comes with the amateurish animation of young children playing in a play park, with occasional descriptive text.
We then understand these moves are those of the children – we explore one child’s movement as he navigates a way to remove a string-tied mitten over his head and through his sleeves; or another, interacting with other children in a playful fight with rucksacks.
The video is integral to our understanding of the movement enacted out on the stage as the initial moves seen in isolation are out of context, but the film knits the piece together. A heart-warming, comical docu-drama simply explored that makes you nostalgically re-evaluate when and where we lost the joy or the freedom of movement as we move from being a child into adulthood. Our outside world begins to stifle us, with our movements becoming more precise, and stifled. We lose the innocence and fun of exploring our world.
We Should Be Dancing takes a fresh look at children and their play in an attempt to relativise the false seriousness the choreographer, Emilenne Flagothier sees in the adult world (especially in politics) where posturing and appearances too often replace the vital animation of experimentation and play.