This blog might be focused largely on modern jive because that’s the dance style I mostly do myself. But I love most styles of dance and I’m keen to bring in other styles to What about Dance. Because that’s what modern jive is – a mash up of lots of different styles with every dancer bringing their own dance experience (if any) and style to their dance.
While I’m never likely to do contemporary dance myself, I’ve learnt to appreciate it over the years. I was never keen in the past, but it’s really grown on me as I’ve got older.
I first saw Motionhouse Dance Theatre performing at Feast at Waddesdon Manor and was pleased to see they’re fairly local to me. So I was excited to see that they were performing as part of the Mill Theatre, Banbury’s dance season this autumn, as well as being part of an August open day.
It was a work day so I would imagine most of the day time events going on were aimed at children on holiday, but Motionhouse performed their show Captive in the evening as well. I’m not sure why he was so excited to come along, but my 5 year old son decided he was coming. He likes a bit of a dance, but I wasn’t sure if he’d get bored through the half hour show. I needn’t have worried, he was as absorbed as I was throughout.
Captive is a contemporary dance performed by 4 dancers, around, in and on a cage / frame. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a really powerful piece, superbly danced by all 4 dancers.
Danced in the round, it meant it’s well suited to being performed outside. The music is strong and powerful, with the moves and story working well with the pieces used.
The gist of the dance is people investigating a cage, getting caught inside it, looking for a way out and finding it. But not wanting to leave. It reminded me of the stories you hear in the news of people being released from hiding places or prison after years of being captured, but not wanting to leave because of the security it brings. It’s a really strong piece, but the dancers also show vulnerability in their situation.
The strength required for dancing and moving across the frame was amazing. I know I’d struggle with monkey bars, let alone having a dance partner hanging off me while moving together in time. It wasn’t a samey piece which does sometimes worry me about contemporary dances sometimes, but we were gripped while watching it.
As the dance finished, it felt like I could take a breath again, brought round by the applause, and laughter at a random couple walking by the car park who stopped to watch.
I’m looking forward to Motionhouse Dance Theatre’s November show which is repeat of Captive and another dance. I’ll also be keeping an eye out for several of the other dance shows that are being performed at the Mill over the coming months.
Are you a contemporary dance fan? Do you stick with modern jive or explore watching (and taking part in) other dance styles?