What an evening of contrasts! We are swung from the alienation of Sara Green’s BURNT OUT, to Dani Harris Walters’ Happy Father’s Day with its pantomime mood.
The night opens however, with the stage bathed in a billowing gold cloth which is used to great theatrical effect throughout MCDC’s I Love Myself, Do You? The three dancers, move in, through, out and under like multi-limbed sea creatures. Dressed in costumes that suggest corsetry, bandages and seaweeds, they portray a battle for identity, good and evil, control and entrapment with a physicality which is quite breath-taking. Although this was a risky and moving piece of work with moments of both conflict and tenderness it also felt at times disjointed and incoherent. It left me wondering if the question of whether ‘I Love Myself’ can be answered or should be asked at all!
The pitch black of the stage in Sara Green’s BURNT OUT created the illusion of deep outer space, disorientating and weightless. The four dancers wear two-piece suits which are soon discarded to reveal the androgynous costumes of alien creatures. They fall, rise, collapse, rise again in response to some internal anguish that we are not yet privy to see. As order descends into chaos the stage lightens to reveal a wall, which the poor tormented creatures try repeatedly to scale in a futile attempt at escape. They are indeed burnt out as the title suggests and there is little to lighten the mood.
It is with some relief that we are welcomed in to the more hopeful world of Dani Harris-Walters’ story of a sperm cell. He talks us through the tale fusing Hip Hop dance, animation, music and text. An engaging story teller he encourages the audience to egg him on and indeed we do, urging him on every step of the way whooping and cheering. Although light hearted and funny this was evidently a well thought out piece of work and made some serious comments about fatherhood which will stay in my mind.