Choreographer: Ruth Tyson-Jones
Reviewer: Jo Beggs
The Public Reviews Rating:
Ad Hoc Dance is the result of the Lowry’s adult dance courses, a chance for the dancers to show what they’ve devised and worked on over the past ten weeks. The refreshing thing about Ad Hoc is that the participants are such a diverse bunch (apart from gender this time it seems). Sprightly youngsters (that’s twenty and thirty somethings) who look like they occasionally frequent the gym, to older folks who look like they turned up because it just sounded like a bit of fun. Under the direction of Ruth Tyson-Jones, however, they end up looking like a not half bad dance company.
The work differs according to the group and it’s very clear that the ideas come from participants rather than from Tyson-Jones. All Things Must Pass explores the passing of time, looks back at youth and contemplates the good things that come with aging. There is a danger in group devising that things can be too literal, here the opposite has happened and some of the work has moved so far away from its original inspiration that it’s difficult to follow and a little incoherent. There are moments when too much is going on, an outpouring of too many ideas within which the good stuff gets a bit lost.
Ad Hoc have very cleverly infused the piece, however, with youth itself, in the shape of a small precociously talented child. As she skips and cartwheels around the stage, weaving her way in and out of the adults, she provides a memory of the physical ease and trouble-free bit of life. Yes…she’s cute, but she’s also like some malevolent sprite come to remind us all how stiff our joints are getting.
Ad Hoc share the stage this year with Dance Syndrome, a Manchester based company, half of whose members have learning disabilities. Dance Syndrome opened the show by performing three pieces, a group work, a trio and a duet. The work reveals a powerful commitment on the part of the dancers whilst avoiding the po-faced seriousness sometimes found in community dance. All the pieces are excellently choreographed, respecting the abilities of the individuals, and demonstrating the sheer joy of dance. I particularly enjoyed the Olympic themed trio in which three learning disabled dancers powerfully demonstrated traditional movements associated with physical prowess.
At a time when we’ll be bombarded with athletes at the peak of their physical ability, it’s nice to be reminded that we all – young, old, able-bodied, disabled, big or small – have the ability to create something rather beautiful.
Runs until 23 July 2012
Ad Hoc Dance: All Things Must Pass – The Lowry, Salford ,