Whenever you are used to seeing the world from a certain angle you realise that you have a unique perspective on everything that no-one else can quite grasp. When this particular reviewer arrived at this particular performance the choice was offered whether to go to the top and work my way down along with the performance, or stay at the bottom and watch everything develop above me and evolve from there.
The later was eventually decided upon, made in part because in this rather futuristic venue it might be difficult to see over stairways as the performance progressed. Also vertigo has a nasty habit of striking at the most moment.
The performance in question was that of Echo Echo Dance theatre company in collaboration with Manoli Moriaty, a sound artist originally from Athens but who is now based in the UK. The performance was part of the ISSTA (Irish Sound Science and Technology Association) 2018 conference, during which the notion of urban society being a contested space would be explored. So it was that the performance began at ground level, bodies twisting and turning in slow movement, exploring the environment around them. As these strange creatures in this futuristic jungle become more aware of their surroundings. All the while a soundtrack of hypnotic, almost nauseating music is heard. These strange creatures, like currents of electricity, began to explore their steel surroundings, occasionally returning to each other for comfort and warmth.
Soon these strange creatures burst into chitter chatter; as if someone had turned on a switch and they were suddenly realising the power of speech. As you watch this strange urban jungle, where evolution and electricity coexist the onlooker can feel like somewhat of a voyeur; like a David Attenborough programme, watching these newly created electrical beings coming to life and exploring a new world. The interaction between the audience and the performer at times made it seem as if the onlooker was a natural part of the environment and perhaps made that onlooker question; what is their part in this strange world. Nonetheless less the onlooker is left in the end feeling as if they are just that; an onlooker, observing this world of electrical evolution.
Echo Echo Dance theatre company's dance and movement festival continues until the weekend.