First created in 2009 and closing out its fifth UK tour at Peacock Theatre, Motionhouse's high-octane dance circus, Scattered, is a visual delight which does not disappoint. Performed on a “vertiginous sloping wall" Kevin Finnan's chromatic journey traverses the globe from pole to pole via a changing visual palate, exploring our relationship with water.
For me, good dance theatre is the successful coming together of movement, sound and light. Throw into the mix a quarter pipe inspired slope centre stage, clever and striking visuals, and you have Scattered.
It begins slowly, but once the pace picks up about 3 mins in, it is enthralling.
From the audience’s audible gasps at the first slide to the sheer athletic physicality, the high-energy leaps, lifts, holds and aerial work, are in places genuinely breath-taking.
In truth, there are only so many times and ways in which you can slide, climb, jump or vault a sloping wall, but what retains the attention is how this all interacts with the digital imagery. When done well, combining visuals and dance is awe-inspiring; and here it has been executed extremely well, with ingenious use of the minimal set.
In the midst of all this, Finnan has managed to inject humour in places, drama in places and intimacy elsewhere; but all the time, playful. All this is underscored by an undulating original score which also feels like it too is traversing the globe.
The overall effect is a visual and aural pleasure, punctuated with vivid scenes, moments and sections which remain with you.
The piece alludes to Motionhouse’s reputation for large outdoor spectacles but also hints at its ability to create small intimate pieces.
Scattered is first of the Earth Trilogy, the third instalment (Charge), is currently in production, which I look forward to. In the meantime, if you haven’t already seen it, I would say Scattered is worth a watch. With this being its fifth UK tour, I, apparently, am not the only person who thinks so.
With only four performances left at the time of publishing, make sure to get your tickets here whilst you can.
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