Maiden Voyage ‘Quartet for 15 Chairs’

“a game of musical chairs”

It really is a game of musical chairs for Maiden Voyage in “Quartet for 15 Chairs”. 

In this case, the Quartet are two male and two female performers and their instruments are small blue chairs which they “play” through balancing on them, jumping over them and swirling them about. 

Maiden Voyage 'Quartet for 15 Chairs'
Maiden Voyage ‘Quartet for 15 Chairs’

Accompanied with soft classical music that flows between tinkling pianos to plucking strings and operatic vocals, this piece works as a gentle introduction to contemporary dance for all the family.

There is no obvious narrative in the piece. Instead, it acts more as a series of playful experiments with the chairs, not excluding juggling acts, racing the chairs against each other and using them as stepping stones. 

Maiden Voyage 'Quartet for 15 Chairs'
Maiden Voyage ‘Quartet for 15 Chairs’

The performers themselves display an endearing sense of discovery as they navigate through their chair filled world.  For young children, this is makes for fun, surreal, comedy action, but older children may require something more challenging, particularly as the set is so minimal and the pace remains steady throughout. 

Maiden Voyage 'Quartet for 15 Chairs'
Maiden Voyage ‘Quartet for 15 Chairs’

Perhaps the stripped back stage and costumes – white everything bar the chairs – is an invitation to exercise the imagination, but a few more stimuli wouldn’t go amiss for such a straightforward storyline.

Nevertheless lighting provides the colour palette to the white stage and the music does well to balance classical elements with the playfulness of the movement.

A short but sweet piece.

Maiden Voyage Quartet reviewed at the Southbank 14 February 2015

by Alice Robotham

Wonderful Team

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