Wednesday, 20 May 2015

REVIEW: FOOTPRINT DANCE FESTIVAL: Feet Off The Ground Dance's 'Passenger'

Footprint Dance Festival
Michaelis Theatre
University of Roehampton
Thursday 14th May 2015

Ending Footprint Dance Festival’s Barefoot performances was a dazzling performance by Feet Off The Ground Dance. Having graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 2013, the collective use their training in Contact Improvisation extensively in choreography. Passenger uses Contact Improvisation to explore notions of femininity and strength.

Assisted by a live musician onstage, four women seize the space, lunging, running, rolling and falling. The dancers support one another using juicy transfers of weight and making unpredictable changes of direction. Syrupy floorwork seamlessly shifts the women's weight from back, to shins, to hands as they slip across the space. Live music played by Ashley Molloy-South sets a strong sense of rhythm and pace, establishing the high energy of the work from the outset.

The dancers physically manipulate and alter one another’s movements, direction and speed, demonstrating the power of the individual and of the group. Catching dancer Sophie Thorpe, as she suspends and falls back, the group take her weight, drag her to the other side of the space and carefully lay her down. Passenger seems to be a manifestation of the coexistence of strength and support that exists within the relationships between women. While there are obvious moments of manipulation and control, there are also instances of group support that seem to thread throughout the work.

Effortless and athletic jumps, lifts and transfers of weight reveal the dancers’ first class training from London Contemporary Dance School. However, it is the dancers’ complete conviction and belief in the choreography that captures and draws the audience in from the moment it begins.

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