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Sunday, 5 February 2017

'Scattered' Motionhouse Dance Company, The Old Rep, Birmingham.


The Old Rep in Birmingham is an intimate venue that holds a unique place in the history of theatre itself. Back in 1913 it opened as Britain's first purpose-built repertory theatre, playing a central role in the early careers of many of the UK's most celebrated actors and theatre-makers as the original home of Birmingham Rep. Only last year the venue relaunched itself a venue which was more young-people driven venue in the heart of the city; inviting a new generation of artists in the city to form a relationship with this unique and historic building. 
As part of their 2017 season launch they began with a performance from Motionhouse Dance Company as they explored our human relationship with water, a fundamental force in our lives in their production of Scattered which was honestly one the best dance productions I have seen in my time. I have wanted to watch this company since being introduced to them back in my university days, but never got round to it!

Leamington Spa based company Motionhouse combine their highly physical trademark movement style with memorising digital imagery in an fascinating interaction between film and live performance. Seven dancers Martina Bussi, Daniel Connor, Junior Cunningham, Chris Knight, Luka Owen, Alasdair Stewart and Rebecca Williams dive into the majestic and unpredictable forces of water, we plunge into an ocean, tumble down a waterfall and slide on an avalanche to a frozen landscape of arctic beauty. 


The use of projection technology is a demanding layer of the production, the dancers working extra hard to ensure they do not miss a prompt in line with their choreography. Their choreography is effortless, it's balance between fluidity and speed tempo coincide well within the context. Their play between solos and duet was enjoyable to watch. The company managed to contain some big unexpected elements of surprise using their ground-breaking set, a big slide drop which saw the performance completely transform into a space that felt expanded but still intimate within the setting of The Old Rep Theatre.

I felt really close to the action I saw on stage and it definitely looked like a great production to create. I felt exhausted by all of their energy and came away feeling so inspired to move again in my own dancing body. I now wonder why I've waited so long to watch this company perform and I am definitely going to see them again the future.

If you haven't seen Motionhouse already then make sure you because they deliver a extraordinary programme of large-scale spectacles and events, which has seen them taking on Europe, China, Japan and the USA as well as here at home in the UK. They are more than worth a watch!

thanks for reading,

*I was gifted this ticket in exchange for a review, but all words and opinions are my own.


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