Bold Moves – Dance Base

Directed by Anne Maher

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A production in two parts, Ballet Ireland’s Bold Moves is a moving and entertaining feast for the eyes which has a limited run at the Dance Base during their Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2022 season.

The first sequence of performance, Us, choreographed by rising star Zoë Ashe–Brown, is an emotive exploration of belonging, friendships and relationships far from home. The piece combines traditional ballet techniques with a more contemporary style.

The company of dancers; Kesi Olley-Dorey, Ainhoa Segrera, Nathan Cornwell, Théo Vanpop, Marc Comellas, Massimo Margaria and Enzo Convert convey loss and hope through mesmerising movements. The sound effects of train station announcements and the ticking of a clock combine with the music to build suspense. The piece shows the contrast between those trying and failing to belong, in an unfamiliar setting, and those that are intrinsically linked by their past. One such element of Us is a pas de deux where Cornwell is embracing and comforting Olley-Dorey as she draws the audience in with her embodiment of grief. The pair utilise facial expressions to convey the emotions while lifts are used to signify the literal support one shows the other. Costumes, designed by Isabella Heymann, are bold in their colour but mirror clothes that people wear regularly to increase the relatability of the piece.

Strokes through the Tail, the following sequence, is choreographed by internationally acclaimed Marguerite Donlon, and is a humourous and energetic homage to Mozart’s Symphony No 40.

With a combination of enthusiasm, comedy and grace, the dancers are each given time in the spotlight in their more traditional tuxedo jackets and tutu, which quickly become somewhat less traditional as costumes are swapped. The choreography is cohesive with the flow of the music and the combination of more sharp movements and enigmatic facial expressions ensure that there is always plenty to be observed. Lighting is used to convey the joy of the piece and varied to highlight the more dramatic sections of the Symphony.

Alone, each sequence of Bold Moves is a beautifully choreographed and executed performance but combined, these contrasting sections merge to become a unique experience for the audience.

‘A unique experience’

Bold Moves runs at Dance Base until august 14th.

Further information about Ballet Ireland can be found here.

By Mhairi Sime

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