“Where is Home?” is the latest offering from dance and music performance company ‘State of Emergency’. Two years in the making, with research and development spanning three continents, the small dance space at Rich Mix was packed out to see them and their unique blend of original compositions and choreography.
Much as their website promises, it was the intricacies of the relationship between music and dance in this piece that made it truly special. A carefully crafted soundscape and variety of live tracks took us seamlessly from scene to scene; a bustling busy street that was appropriately disorientating, to a mother’s death bed – eerie and moving. In fact in many places it was the use of silence that was particularly arresting, leaving the audience to absorb the full emotional impact of the dancers’ movements coloured only by the sounds of feet on floor, the slap of hands and the focused breath of the performers.
Dance, when done well, can be the most emotionally expressive of all the arts, and the cast and creative team here did well to give the routines space to breathe, to tell the story through the scything journey of the dancers bodies. When the young lead approaches his mother’s death bed early on in the first act, his friends twist and move around him – inspired by his grief. As in all the best productions you felt they moved not thanks to an intricate choreography, but because they had to move. Because the weight of their emotion alone contorted their bodies into these shapes of self-expression.
Truly, in the best possible way, it is a show that you watch with your heart and not your head. Thoughts are bypassed and it speaks straight to your soul. Do not miss it at the Fringe, certainly the standing ovation provided enthusiastically by the audience hints at a great tour to follow.