Friday, 8 May 2015

REVIEW: Molly Simpson's 'She Said: What?'

Student Dance Platform
Michaelis Theatre
University of Roehampton
Sunday 3rd May 2015

Set to Kate Nash’s charming love song Birds, Molly Simpson’s light-hearted tap routine was a fun, feel good opening to the Student Dance Platform. As the audience enter the theatre, dancer Louise Ware sits casually using her mobile, with a bright pink rucksack strapped to her back. As the lights dim, nine other dancers, dressed in pretty floral skirts join her on stage, standing in staggered lines on individual coloured square mats.

While adding a certain quirkiness to Simpson’s She said: What?, the dancers’ physical restriction to the mats seemed to stop them from executing the movement as fully as they could have done. Yet, the quick changes of level from being upright to suddenly low and grounded was greatly refreshing.

A conversation between Ware and the other dancers follows Nash’s lyrics, reminding us of the sincerity of Nash’s love song and the narrative unfolding in front of the audience. One dancer breaks away from the others and mimes along to Nash, ‘you look well nice’, emphasising Simpson’s quirky choreography.

Despite the complexity of the steps, overall the movement was slow and relaxed. Nash’s touching Birds added an element of girly sincerity to the work. With the addition of dim lighting and shadows that seem to obscure the dancers’ faces, Simpson effectively creates a summery evening feel.

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