Have you ever been to see a show at the theatre and thought to yourself, “I wonder what the staff thought of that?”
Here at The Lowry we host a wide range of shows from musicals to drama, comedy to opera. Week 53 is The Lowry’s festival for the compulsively curious and we invited some of our contemporary ambassador staff to let us know what they think of the programme.
Katie Hoather usually works in on our Hospitality team and also in our Learning and Engagement department, but today she is a Week 53 reviewer and her subject is Scottish Dance Theatre’s Innocence and School Of Moon by Shonen.
Over to you Katie…
On Sunday 20th I went to see Innocence an interactive performance for under 7’s and their parents performed by the Scottish Dance Theatre. It explored themes around the works William Blake and beautifully combined spoken word, music, movement, dance and creativity. The piece started with the performers dancing to live music then throughout the performance they invited the participants to join in on their journey through dance and movement. After this there was really lovely moment where everyone sat on the floor in the space singing a song led by one of the performers. The finale of the piece was incredibly simple yet clever as all the participants and performance created a large tree using pieces of paper and cardboard tubes. All the audience members I came into contact with after the performance expressed how much they, and their child, thoroughly enjoyed it.
Straight after this performance I was able to head over to the Quays where I was able to catch School of Moon. After the light hearted atmosphere of Innocence this performance was completely different ball game. This dance piece featuring young people… (and robots) was definitely thought provoking into the way our future is working alongside technology. The first half of the performance made me think of a very futuristic world by the use of the slow movement and dark lighting. I have to say I thought the young people in the performance were fantastically focused throughout and the level of control they displayed through this slow moving piece was brilliant.
The first section ended in a visually engaging way as the ensemble slowly pulled back the flooring to reveal a white dance floor ready for the second half. This second portion of the performance focused more on the use of the robots and the young people’s performance alongside this technology. There was a robot located centre stage which throughout seemed to look like it was struggling to stand… whether this was part of the performance or not whether it was meant to get up I’m not sure but it still added to this futuristic community created by these young people.
This second half consisted with more of the smaller (and some would say cuter) robots dancing and moving alongside the young people in their contemporary dance. The piece finished with a soft ending with the young people and robots on stage. As the house lights went up one of the robots encouraged the audience to applaud. I believe at this point that people were allowed to go onto the stage and dance and move with the robots. However I didn’t personally feel that vibe as there was no real invitation from performers to audience.
Both performance pieces incorporated local young people in dance and movement but for very different objectives. While Innocence used dance to create and focus on the here and now of the young participants, School of Moon explores through dance and technology ideas of the future. I enjoyed them both and applaud both companies in their performances during WEEK 53.
Innocence and School Of Moon were at The Lowry as part of Week 53 festival. For more information or tickets to Week 53 festival visit The Lowry website, or call box office on 0843 208 6000.