Charge
Motionhouse Dance Theatre Company
Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry


Earlier in 2017, February, in fact, I went along to The Old Rep in Birmingham to see the 2017 season launch for Leamington Spa based dance theatre company Motionhouse. Their piece 'Scattered' remains to be easily one of my favourite dance productions this year, you can read my review from that show here. Their new piece Charge has just premiered and it easily stands on the same pedestal that Scattered sits on. 

Charge focuses on science and the expressive narrative that tells the story of our relationship of energy, combining the different sources in our everyday lives. The company's trademark of highly physical movement choreography with memorising digital imagery creates a fascinating relationship between film and live performance that is a credit to Motionhouse's work. Their precision and incorporation have you in awe of their production.

Six dancers transport us through various mediums of energy and that it is a continuum; 'we use it in our bodies, and we use it in our lives'. The artistic influence has drawn heavily on Frances's book The Spark of Life for contextual information about the human understanding of our body as an electrically animated system as well as other things. It also draws on the electrical body in art and culture, an example being Mary Shelley's book Frankenstein. The six bodies in the space have admirable upper body strength, especially for the more difficult choreography like handing or holding a position for a long duration of time.



The literal flexibility of their set strengthens the creative elements of the production, parts of the set transformed from a still backdrop to a more animated structure in minutes. This play of flexibility was intriguing and exciting, in particular when the set becomes the heart of the piece. Their timing and consistency in energy levels are vital in Motionhouse's productions, their collective is technically brilliant. Charge also demonstrates how this company illuminates the strength of a dance body in both man and woman, there's a great sense of equality in their company. 

As you would expect from Motionhouse their variation in choreographic movement astounds the audience, there's always something new, fresh and exciting about their approach to a new piece of work every time. It includes elements of aerial work that are so articulate and stunning that your attention doesn't stray away from the stage. Captivated by their variation in different energy sources, individually I was drawn into the ones in our human body and appreciated how this was represented in dance. 

The only exception for this piece was that at times as an audience it felt you needed to focus just a little harder so you could recognise what was happening in specific parts of the production. However, Motionhouse's Charge is undeniably a gorgeous dance circus presentation of a relationship between Science and Dance that is thrilling. 

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