In February half term 2016 I went to see the dance performance called Scattered by Motion House, at Warwick University. I was interested in going to see this show because of the way the company bring together dance, music and video installations into a creative piece.
One of the most unusual aspects of the staging is the use of a fibreglass steep shelving slope, similar to a quarter pipe for skateboarding, onto which the images are projected and dancers use to interact with the images, climbing up and sliding down.
The loose subject of the piece was about Water. The installation had many different images of water: it starts with the Arctic and gradually moves down southwards through oceans and into the desert.
Some of the most striking parts of the performance for me were when the installation showed a desert scene and the dancers were on the floor being scorpions. The way they moved and the music accompaniment made the whole scene very realistic and you really felt the dancers were insects. Another part I liked was when there were giant bubbles projected onto the screen and as the dancers jumped onto them they burst. Towards the end there were some net curtains that came over the slope which the dancers used to slide down as if they were waterfalls.
In addition to the beauty of the water images there was also a serious message around the way we take water for granted. One of the images was of taps – to make the point that it is a luxury to have running water, which many people do not have access to.
Afterwards I had the opportunity to hear the Producer, Kevin Finnan and the dancers talk about their work. I was really surprised to hear that the dancers have to count throughout the whole 75 minutes in order to time their dance moves with the other dancers and the video projections and music. I was also interested to learn that there are only 184 dancers in the UK who have a full time salary from dance and Motionhouse has eight of those dancers.
Personally although I enjoyed parts of the performance and found it interesting I felt it was slightly difficult to understand the whole messages coming through the performance. It only made complete sense to me after hearing the producer and dancers talk about it afterwards. I really liked how the music fitted with the video images and the dance and how this engaged you with all your senses.