‘The Life and Times’ (Scottish Dance Theatre) | Review By Lewis C. Baird

Scottish Dance Theatre in association with Dundee Rep present the digital production ‘The Life and Times’. Tonight (17th June) I was lucky enough to attend the world premiere of this production. Audiences will be able to watch another performance of this production tomorrow evening (18th June). 

‘The Life and Times’ is a visual meditation on human fragility and explores how our relationship with time has changed over the last year. 

The ensemble of dancers present a dynamic movement production which features a variety of styles executed stunningly throughout. The performers embrace the abstract and even at points farcical stylization of the piece. Yet there is also true moments of tension, vulnerability and passion. The company of this production are as follows; Bonni Bogya, Kieran Brown, João Castri, Glenda Gheller, Lugi Nardone, Nicole Nevitt, Jessie Roberts-Smith, Pauline Torzuoli, Johanna Wernmo and Soléne Weinachter. 

The company choreographed this production with Scottish Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director, Joan Clevillé. The artistic approach Joan and the company have taken for this production is impressive and original. There are many elements involved in portraying this journey which at points can be simplistic and yet those moments draw the audience closer. The abstract tendencies of the piece can leave the audience in the dark of what some movement truly represents, yet it allows their mind to wander and allow the sequences to represent their own interpretation. The narrative of Kieran Brown and Jessie Roberts-Smith characters delivers comic relief from some of the intense and poignant choreography.  

The performer’s relationship with Matthias Strahm’s minimalistic yet affective stage design establishes the emotion and tempo for each sequence. Emma Jones’ lighting design works harmoniously with Matthias’ costume and set, creating clear differing settings with minimalistic set. Tao-Anas Le Thanh’s digital artistry is ingenious. This is one of the best shot digital productions since the start of the pandemic. The seamless transitions, close-ups and clever camera work puts the audience front and centre of the action, truly immersing you in the journey. 

Overall, ‘The Life and Times’ is a superb digital dance production which features incredibly talented performers and a variety of movement styles which allow the audience to use their imagination to relate the piece back to their own journey of fragility. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Get your tickets for ‘The Life and Times’ here – https://dundeerep.co.uk/whats-on/the-life-and-times

Header image by Sean Millar. 

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