For the first weekend of the Imagine Arts Festival I chose the artwork at Greyfriars and the Youth Dance Celebration at the Theatre Royal. Imagine is an established shoestring festival that manages to deliver a lot more for a lot less money than other national festivals I attend.
Thanks to the welcoming knowledge of Valerie Stone at Greyfriars, I was shown the works and not only offered tea and biscuits but told where there was free sausage and rashers available on a promotion for a new eating place. Waterford City Council should feel proud to have such a livewire working for them on a scheme (unfortunately).
Six gratuates from WIT made up Hexagon 3 and I liked the isolation of Jamie Murphy’s Untitled oils. Breda Flanagan brought a scary touch of Halloween with her hospital print and scary prints of medical instruments in stainless steel dishes.
Upstairs a show, by Susan Montgomery – Light Falling In Dark Places – was the kind of arty bitsy whimsy that causes people to complain that money is spent on such frippery and pretentiousness. Venues showing such work will find it hard to enlist public support for such abstraction of spots and daubs, and brush cleaning exercises like a stained tissue with 2579 on it / Oil on paper €200 or a paper bag and a stain. Love Home Confetti €250. Need I say more?
There was no restaurant or café open at the Theatre Royal for Youth Dance Celebration, but at interval tea and drinks were available, even though a PA announcement began to advise booking of interval drinks. The same gremlin must have caused a piece of masking scenery to fall on a dancer and the air conditioning wasn’t on or wasn’t effective.
But the energy and quality of the various dance troops impressed but there wasn’t a programme sheet available until the very end when I was given a continuity slip.
Breakbeat were most impressive with a series of well disciplined moves and concepts that enthralled me, especially with their Atomic and XYZ. Centre Stage previewed their Nutcracker with a stylish Spanish routine.
A De Braam school piece, Toccata, was lead by Jessica Doran and last person to exit the classy sequence was her sister Abbey Doran, who kept in character until she was in the wings.
Centre Stage also impressed with Edel Quinlan’s narrative dance, Little Suzi, which was followed by a most delightful duo, Rachel Brennan and Shauna Ridgard, with Paquita.
Jess Rowell and Steve Johnstone showed their class in Animated State’s preview of Samsara choreographed by Libby Seward.
But Crew Of 2 wowed me with a most professional session of robotic moves from Toby Morietto and Danny Hogan.
Brian McSweeney, a cope Foundation Award Winning Dancer, excelled with a Blue on Blue Heartache On Heartache sequence.
Trish Murphy choreographed the closing WYD moves Chair Today Gone Tomorrow routines and it was a classy end to a classy show.