Triple Bill/ Watch This Space

Cottier's Theatre, Glasgow

Mary Brennan


Two separate programmes of new work sees Cottier's Dance Project providing a welcome platform for young and emerging dance-makers, and if it was a very mixed bag of an evening - all too often the spoken word (and lack of microphone technique) undermined the performances - it was interesting to see what's bubbling under on the Scottish scene.

In the Triple Bill, Jori Kerremans' Yoik was the highlight, a thoughtful "light and shade" solo rooted in his own experiences, his own understanding and sense of self. Kerremans wasn't afraid to use stillness as a counterpoint to flights of lithely whirling activity, as if those pauses were moments for reflection - moments, actually, when we all got under the skin of life as a balancing act. Ruth Mills's solo, Self-Determination, was strong on visual imagery, offering personal drama with a political twist. While her white-clad bride strips away the costume panoply of matrimony, the soundscape mixes post-independence referendum news clips with bright Celtic-inflected airs: ideas of national and individual self-determination move in parallel, with Mills's (literally) upside-down stance a bolshie route to standing on her own two feet. Finally, Tamsyn Russell's duet, In the Hearts of Humans. Adrienne O'Leary joined her in playful interactions where childish things - a sad balloon, cheerleader tassels - were emblematic of inner traits and emotional states. At times, the jokiness got in the way of the dance: it doesn't need to goof around to engage us.

Watch This Space lined up five different bits'n'bobs, although Jamiel Laurence's 1 to 10 (previously reviewed) is the finished article and even sharper, funnier and sly at second viewing. Junebug Company's extract from Harmony in Blues - danced as a duet rather than a trio by Sophie Ammann and Erin O'Reilly - showed an enterprisingly cliche-free movement vocabulary in response to music where meetings and partings have a country-rock feel. The checked shirts were the only "yee-hah!" nod here. Elsewhere, Pirita Tuisku's research project, Drown, was a fierce, often athletic, outpouring of wrenching grief where a seemingly trivial matter - baggy, unflattering trousers - really detracted from her expressive body-line. Dancer Kate Haughton was a black-clad wraith, in a brief (untitled) lyric reverie by Lewis Normand while Underhand Dance fell victim to the voice-muffling microphone in Like Losing a Limb, a relationship duet where the bodies of both female dancers could have done the talking better.