SOFTLAMP.autonomies, four stars

Dadderrs, three stars

Tramway, Glasgow

Mary Brennan

It’s ‘weird and wonderful’ night at DIG (Dance International Glasgow). The limits of endurance – for audience as well as performers – are tested in SOFTLAMP.autonomies while the usual formalities that divide audience and performers evaporate in Dadderrs where, as in life, we are all in it together. It makes for a brilliantly disruptive double bill that encourages you to re-think the ‘what and how’ of your expectations in terms of dance and performance.

SOFTLAMP.autonomies begins in incense-perfumed silence. Downstage, two white-clad performers - Ellen Furey and Malik Nashad Sharpe – lie prone. Gradually, limbs move. Both dancers follow their own trajectory until they’re upright. What next? The meditative silence is blown apart by the insistent, pulsing rhythms of Pillen de Yung Hurn, a piece of electronic music that will loop over and over – at full volume – until you long for it to stop. Except it’s underpinning a gorgeous, lovesome episode of tightly-synchronised dance where Furey and Sharpe repeat, and build on, little phrases of movement: small hops, shimmies, side-steps, bounces - perfectly co-ordinated, so delectable you don’t want them to stop... Their unyielding stamina is almost terrifying. The light shifts into a blue wash. They do stop – the music doesn’t! When they re-start, there’s an element of divergence that asserts individuality even when the in-synch energies continue. By now, the music is like your friend, you’re maybe even singing the vocal line under your breath. Maybe starting to wonder if the music, the lighting change, altered how you saw the dance?

There’s more ‘love it? hate it?’ provocation in Dadderrs, where Frauke Requardt and Daniel Oliver declare Tramway 4 their Meadowdrome and the audience participates whole-sale in the fantastical escapism of the couple’s married life. It’s mayhem: he and she dress up, strip off, dance exuberantly, have volunteers re-enact their courtship. But there’s method in the madness, an honesty about how couples survive parenthood without losing sight of themselves.