Curious Seed: And the Birds Did Sing

Dance Base

four stars

There is a poignantly poetic, meditative quality to this performance by Christine Devaney - her first self-made solo since 2005 - in which childhood memories are revisited, cherished and re-appraised through the eyes of adult experience. Now - did the eccentric old woman, Birdie, really exist? Did the birds she fed really tell her about life far afield? Or did an ever-present face at a top floor window lead a young imagination to dream up a story tinged with loneliness and wishful magic. On-stage - surrounded by scrunched-up paper, a ‘cloud’ of paper pieces overhead like outspread wings - Devaney weaves expressive movement into a spoken narrative that looks back in order to go forward. Devaney’s writing, like her choreography, catches how moments of uncontrollable change - ageing, death - ripple ever after through our lives. Luke Sutherland’s exquisite music ebbs and flows with the shifts in mood and memory - echoing the yearnings, the bewilderment of loss, and the uplift of love that sings out from this remarkable work.

until August 11

Raiders of the Grey Gold

Zoo Southside

five stars

Those madcap Danish pranksters, Don Gnu, are back! Clinging onto zimmer-frames, Jannik Elkær and Kristoffer Louis Andrup Pedersen are now two codgers locked in hilarious battle over the TV set in an old folk’s home. Going ‘gentle into that good night’ is, however, kicked athletically into touch when the duo - abetted by Petras Lisauskas, singer Alice Carreri and accordionist Nicolai Kornerup - re-enact wildly far-fetched escapist fantasies that are inventively entertaining and yet oddly touching... these dudes are (supposedly) doddering, so it’s only their imaginations and not their decrepit bodies that are going into sweetly timed slo-mo punch ups or turning a mobility scooter into a wannabe hot rod. In reality, Elkær and Pedersen are seriously buff and fit, delivering their slapdance acrobatics and raunch-tinged dance routines with exuberant panache while some very sinuous belly-dancing by Lisauskas is an added delight.

until August 10

Mary Brennan