How, Yeats wondered, can we know the dancer from the dance? It’s a good line, and an even better question. This new piece from choreographer Emma Martin, composer Andrew Hamilton, five dancers and three musicians sets out to explore the relationship between the dancer and the dancehall: the tension between what happens inside the body in response to musical stimuli, and what society imposes from the outside by way of convention and control.
Dancehall begins with the music, and the music at the beginning is skeletal: a chord on an electronic keyboard, held until it pulses with unexpected undertones; a heartbeat from the drum; flashes of cello so brief you wonder if you’ve imagined them. A dancer whose ultra-slow-motion movements recall the controlled fluidity of tai chi. – Arminta Wallace, The Irish Times