After another tumultuous day in the Government, I caught the train from the tranquillity of my home looking forward to an evening of entertainment at DE. The Double Bill, the first in a number on offer at Dance East in Ipswich opened with The Lovely Girls from The Hiccup Project. I encountered this dynamic female duo last Summer at a dance workshop and knew that I was in for a treat. Their show was full of energy and fun but played with the darker politics of feminism.
The two ‘ girls’ engaged us in their conversations tackling issues such as gender stereotypes, relationships, speaking out, and what it means to be ’lovely’! We laughed with them but all too often the laughter turned slightly sour on our lips. With the resignation of a broken Prime Minister, only the second woman PM in the history of the UK what had we got to laugh about?
Allenye Dance followed with A Night’s Game. This intense and dark work portrayed the fear of impending incarceration. The two dancers, identical twins created a murky, claustrophobic world of powerful emotion; a twilight of pain, torment and anxiety using body percussion, technical agility, stillness, sound and silence. But what was the ‘game’ that they played? A tense game with moments of beauty but a game which seemed to have no rules. It was only as the audience rose to their feet in a standing ovation that the rising pressure finally snapped and we knew that we didn’t have to play!
Both these excellent performances challenged me to think about all that constrains us and indeed the parts that we play, and ‘lovely girl’ that I am I was relieved to be out in the fresh air and free to wend my way home.
Reviewed at Dance East Ipswich on Friday, May 24th by Anna Mortimer