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Dance Review: Glory Tramway, Glasgow

Programme entries reveal just how rich and varied Glory's on-stage mix of people is.

The joy is that at Tramway, inaugurating the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, they meld symbolically under one roof - an overhanging roofscape, actually, that designer/co-director Richard Layzell has pitched above the mobile set of angled structures inspired by the city's new athletes village. But as the participants - 36 of them, all ages, all sizes, with different cultural backgrounds and abilities - respond to the opening chimes of MJ McCarthy's swooshingly rhythmic score, it's not about a call to Games, it's as if Glasgow itself is waking up. The audience - ranged round on all sides - then catch glimpses of a fascinating human jigsaw through cunning "portals" before these walls are swept away and only the dancers are left.

If co-director Janice Parker's initial choreography - caringly tailored to fit dancers and non-dancers alike - had conjured up a sense of street encounters, there are now hints of personal and Commonwealth history in the way bodies fall, lie prone, even as survivors pick their way to? To a hopefully safe house in Glasgow, perhaps, where each dancer can lodge the personal talisman that holds unspoken meaning... If individuality shines through the whole performance, with simple movement motifs burnished by little quirks of personality, there is an even more life-affirming and profoundly affecting spirit in the moments of interaction and connection. Here is the Glory of trust and generousity between strangers: the head pillowed on the outstretched hand of another, the cradling arms that offer support when all around are dropping like stones. When the walls speed back in, boundaries have been crossed and a community exists - off-stage, as well as on. Take hankies for the last showing tonight.

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