Wednesday, October 18, 2017

NOT LIKE THE OTHERS


Choreographed by Alison Plevey, Steve Gow and Jack Riley
Lighting by Kelly McGannon
Costumes by Alison Plevey, Amelie Langevin, Olivia Fyffe

Presented by QL2 Dance – Theatre 3, 13th and 14th October 2017

Matinee performance on 14th October reviewed by Bill Stephens


"Square Peg" choreographed by Alison Plevey. 

The first of three annual showcase programs presented by QL2 Dance, the “Chaos” project focusses on the work of entry point dancers.  “Hot to Trot” ( 25/26 Nov.) shows the work of young choreographers who have participated in the Quantum Leap program, while  “On Course” (16/17 Dec.) provides the opportunity for former Quantum Leap participants who have since become university dance students to demonstrate their progress.

Each program has its particular point of interest and this year, 47 dancers of varying abilities have participated in the “Chaos” project under the banner of “Not Like The Others”. Created by three professional choreographers, all of whom have been through the QL2 process, “Not Like The Others” consisted of seven sections, presented in a continuous performance lasting just on an hour.
This testing program which concentrates on ensemble work allows the young dancers, whose ages range from 8 to 18 years, to  demonstrate the skills they’ve learned to allow them to cope with choreography, costume changes, and the myriad other performance skills necessary to  participate in a large-scale dance work.

For the choreographers, there’s a challenge to devise an interesting and cohesive program of dance which will embrace the varying abilities of the dancers, and inspire them to contribute and develop as both choreographers and performers.

This year the choreographer’s, Alison Plevey, Steve Gow and Jack Riley sought active collaboration with their dancers to explore themes of diversity, minority and difference. These themes were firmly imprinted in Plevey’s dramatic opening in which, one by one, performers took the stage to stand in their own individual spotlight.

Costumed in multi-coloured tops and black pants the dancers performed a series of unison manoeuvres, before settling in groups around board games to explore and verbalise special differences like “I can whistle through my teeth” or “I have one sister”.

"Virtual Identity" choreographed by Steve Gow 

White masks, ultra-violent light and black costumes created an eerie effect for Steve Gow’s imaginative exploration of identity, while Jack Riley incorporated carefully manipulated wooden rods to great effect in a section entitled “Allone”.

Costumes throughout were appropriate and well chosen, as was the imaginative lighting and inspiring music tracks. All the works were determinedly ensemble pieces, with sometimes spectacular effects resulting from impressively resolved and performed group movement. Although there were no featured solos, there was space in each work for the dancers to incorporate their own favourite moves. Some works featured partnering and lifting and all demanded complete concentration from the youthful participants. The quality and accuracy of the unison movement spoke volumes about the amount of time and effort that had been expended on perfecting each section, and reflected credit on both dancers and choreographers.

"Allone" choreographed by Jack Riley 


The smiles on the faces of the young dancers as they took their cleverly devised bows, said it all. They had proved that in helping devise and perform this demanding and entertaining program they were certainly “Not Like The Others”. 


                                                 Photos by Lorna Sim

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