There is too little representation of science in performance.  All too often it’s about the people and relationships behind the science, and not the invention and exploration.  Motionhouse have partnered with the University of Oxford to explore the role of energy in all aspects of our lives in Charge, a performance that fuses dance, circus, sound and digital video.

Images and movement define the feel of the production.  This is an impressive set, three walls with openings, ledges and handholds that allow the six performers to convincing occupy the space in three dimensions.  Onto these walls are projected images that range from the microscopic sperm/egg through to the heart, electrical discharge, the city in which we live and our planet’s weather systems.  The dramatic projections form the backdrop, the canvas onto which Motionhouse paint their impressive dance-circus.

What is most compelling about this show is the pace.  Movement is consistently strong and although there are striking set pieces each adds to the overall content.  In some circus, the structure seems to build to one central highlight.  Not so here, each section is important in its own right.  And some of the movement is spectacular, as dancers teeter on the edge of a high ledge, hang from the central frame or unravel themselves through the full height of the stage.  Even the set piece dance routines are beautifully choreographed and perfectly executed.

There are moments of real beauty too.  Two dancers are each carried on another’s shoulders, one following the other through a field of lightbulbs that have been suspended from the ceiling.  Performers are caught mid air by bursts of light.  Visually intelligent and emotionally engaging.

HOME Manchester, 17-18 October 2017.

photo:  Dan Tucker

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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