Politically, the time is out of joint in Ireland. Elections and assemblies, tariffs and trade deals, boundaries, borders and Brexit provide the motivation and subtext for Maiden Voyage’s newly commissioned double bill. Everything is on the table, even the dance itself, as Eileen McClory’s challenging, intimate Brink unfolds on top of a high, square table.
Ryan O’Neill and Vasiliki Stasinaki begin and end as an intertwined knot of human flesh. In the intervening 25 minutes and within the tight confines of their performance space, they submit their bodies to a sinuous process of physical entanglement and disengagement, rarely breaking contact while creating a series of tender and tormented images.
Mutual trust is an essential element in their partnership as each in turn carries, protects, supports the other. The male dancer is not inevitably the source of strength and endurance. Stasinaki’s tiny frame shows itself eminently capable of bringing her man – the tall, strongly built O’Neill – through difficult moments.
Katie Richardson’s menacing soundscape resonates to the once-familiar sounds of conflict and piercing searchlights create dark shadows while picking out the detail of McClory’s high-risk choreography.
The angular precision of Liz Roche’s The Here Trio offers an intriguing reflection on space, history and our transitory, uncertain existences within the rapidly changing environments we occupy. Threaded by a vocal commentary and with a solo percussion accompaniment, three extraordinary dancers – O’Neill, Sarah Cerneaux and Glória Ros Abellana – collectively navigate a green screen or sward.
Their unpredictable body language creates swirls of syncopated patterns, one minute agitated and reactive, the next bringing peace to body, mind and spirit.