I just realised I never finished this series. Which is a shame, because the fourth week of the festival was as noteworthy as any other, so I’m going to see what I can remember.
Wednesday 12 May
Colin Dunne is the Birmingham-born Irish dancer who replaced Michael Flatley in Riverdance many moons ago. He’s since made a shift over to a more contemporary style of dance in order to explore his relationship to the style (and the culture in which it resides) in which he made his name.
Out of Time was a really good show. Colin’s a very charming chap – funny and clearly incredibly talented, even if he is talented at something he’s less enraptured with these days. The speed and rhythm of his feet was a sight to behold and the technical trickery (dance-offs against projections, looped recordings from mics attached to his shoes) was well integrated.
Thursday 13 May
There was only a small crowd of people over at Ikon Eastside to witness Xavier Le Roy’s performance of Self Unfinished. I heard that a couple had walked out the day before, but there was none of that – just a hushed bemusement right up to the point where ‘Upside Down‘ blared out of the speakers.
It’s uncanny how he managed to make his body, viewed from the most unlikely of angles in a range of contortions, metamorphose from human, to robot (although I’ve seen better robots) to abstract forms, to a range of animals (monkey/frog/plucked chicken) and back to human. It was worth the slow, scene-setting start and, of all the shows I saw at the festival, this one earned the description’ hardest to explain to my mates down the pub’.
Friday 14 May
My last ‘proper’ show of the festival was Deborah Colker’s ‘Cruel’. It was dark, sexy, showy and ‘that’ moment before the intermission was sufficiently cold to send a little shiver down my spine. Frothy but just about satisfying enough at the same time, although I didn’t go a bundle on the last act – I’d have been just as happy without that.
Saturday 15 May
Put Your Foot Down was the final public spectacle, taking place down outside St Martin’s Church, out the back of Bullring Birmingham. I wandered along and recorded a bit of video on my phone, which I’ve since misplaced. The weather was good and there was a consistently strong crowd throughout. Salah did his crowd-pleasing thing and fun was had by all.