Thursday, February 28, 2013

CoisCéim, 'Pageant': Waving the Flag

Photo: Ros Kavanagh
Project Arts Centre, Dublin
Feb 23-Mar 2 

I would have liked the time to do an in-depth review of Pageant - the new show by CoisCéim Dance Theatre - as I did with last year's Touch Me.

What's noticeable (after getting over the absence of Nick McGough *sigh*) is that choreographers David Bolger and Muirne Bloomer place themselves at the centre of things, and as sweeping as they are, I do wish that we got more of Robert Jackson and Jonathan Mitchell, though thankfully we get a very sassy routine from the divine Emma O'Kane. 

It is a struggle with Pageant at times to get meaning out of the action (the individual segments at the desk, in particular, were a head-scratcher), and at other times it frustrated as meanings weren't pushed to a dramatic payoff. Also, the acoustic music was too soft and seemed to slow everything way down.

However, the pros outweigh the cons: the performers are stunning (Bolger himself is particularly witted), and Sinéad McKenna's lighting is glorious. The spectacle promised by the title arrives for a fantastic finale as the company set out in force to achieve their goal: to capture that celebrated sense of being a wonder, blissfully watched, and recipient of applause and ovation. Appropriately, that also describes their curtain call. 

What did everybody else think?

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