A number of pieces in this year’s Spring Forward dance festival might have been mistaken as being the product of a group of A Level drama students who’d all been given the same brief for their exam. Now this is absolutely not to say that the quality of work wasn’t high or that there weren’t some exceptionally clever and entertaining performances, but that the general body of work at the festival reeked of a similar theme: long, slow, and drawn out.
Every choreographer takes pride in his or her art, just as every producer takes pride in letting each artist’s piece be fully experienced onstage by them and those who are in the audience.
What do we want from performance and why are we here?
Springback to make the best jump. Springback to sit in the first row, and be ready to get not on but into the stage. Take a breath, springback and dive in even in a state of apnea and against the ticking of time.
Four days, seven theatrical spaces, twenty four shows. These are the most important numbers of the 4th Spring Forward Dance Festival which took place in the Swedish city of Umeå from 24th to 27th of April 2014.
In the light and freshness of Umea we were indeed sprung forwards, diagonally and sideways but never backwards.
First impressions are often based on only superficial observations and might quickly lead to judgment – about a person as well as an artwork.
Spring Forward proved to be a chocolate box of a festival, not everything was to my taste but overall, a stimulating gift. So who were the tastemakers?
Duration and endurance at Spring Forward.
Artistic quality is my focus as a critic. Easy to say, but then we all know all the other aspects which are involved; the practical, economic and geographic ones, educational elements and levels of development.
Finding just the right words has usually been a key aim when writing about dance. Which ones best capture the essence of a performance as well as my experience of it?