Miann is a Gaelic word meaning both desire and longing, and choreographer Fleur Darkin’s lyrical movement combines the two. Some dancers move in lonely isolation, while most action centres around a couple whose fierce duet slips from frenzy and grief to heated passion.
An AstroTurf strip across the stage softens the steps, and a particularly violent fall, and dancers vanish and reappear on either side of a chainmail curtain that cuts through the stage. A shadow moving about a central sculpture marks the passage of time. As the performers approach the audience, their feet and robe-like garments rattle the bamboo stalks scattered about the edge of the space. These designs, from the award-winning Alexander Ruth, contribute quietly to the soundscape of the piece.
The music itself comes from The One Ensemble, Glasgow, a four-piece group playing haunting Celtic and Eastern European melodies, and they drape the show in their melancholic folk. Their onstage presence adds to the sense of intimacy, punctuated by surprising slices of silence.
Fleur Darkin, Scottish Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director, draws the audience unnervingly close. In original performances, dancers came right to the edge of audience space with sweat-drenched faces and black-dyed hands. The Queen Elizabeth Hall might be big enough to hide some of the dancers’ panting exertion, but this is not a show for those who like their dance at an elegant distance. For everyone else, it promises a performance to get lost in.
The Southbank Centre advises this show is suitable for ages 14 and above.
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|What||Miann, Scottish Dance Theatre: Queen Elizabeth Hall|
|Where||Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Embankment (underground)|
On 09 Apr 15, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Southbank website|