3rd Stage Dance at The Tobacco Factory

Triple Bill Ė 3rd Stage Dance. On Friday 15th we saw a triple bill by 3rd Stage Dance company at the Tobacco Factory theatre. I am a dance virgin. Well, apart from an ill fated foray to see the ballet in Bath. I didnít enjoy it, so I was not exactly sure how my experience of this evening was going to be.

The performance this evening took the format of three short pieces with two intervals. As it was, this was perfect for me, as it was a gentle introduction to an art form I am not familiar with, and didnít make things feel too heavy.

In our first interval, I had a discussion with my date for the night, to see how he was finding it. His response? ď It reminds me of what some people say when they see one of your paintings. I donít get it!Ē This quickly turned into a conversation about whether it was important to get it or not. I had found the first part visual, striking and beautiful to look at, and the music†had moved me.

Apparently the first piece had been about words, the meaning of words and how they can be used to interpret a story. I didnít Ďgetí that, but what I did get was that I was in the company of an eclectic and engaged audience, who appeared to be enjoying it as much as I was. So, much like my paintings, does it matter if you Ďgetí it, as long as you can appreciate it visually?

The second section was definitely the strongest of the night for me. I was particularly struck by the energy, vitality and maturity of the piece performed by the youth dance company RISE. In my opinion, they need special commendation for their tight routine set to contemporary music that had me wanting to jump up and join them.

This flowed beautifully into a piece with two female and one male dancer from 3rd stage. Again, Iím not exactly sure what they were trying to convey. Were they all lovers? Friends? Scorned? Confused? Sad? Mourning what could have been? I’m not sure, but it was beautiful and nearly moved me to tears.

Interval two. I sensed my companion was starting to enjoy it more. I think the interval ice cream helped! For me, the third section was the least successful. This time, the music was performed live by The Ryan OíReilly band.†I was transfixed by the music. I suddenly felt like I was at a gig. I couldnít take my eyes off them, and, honestly, that was not entirely because Ryan had some of the most beautiful dimples I had ever seen! I LOVED the music, but for me, it made the dancing blur into the background a little. This is a personal feeling, I looked around the auditorium at my fellow audience members, and they seemed transfixed by the dance performance, the closest to a narrative the evening had seen.

Overall? I really enjoyed it. Iím so glad the Tobacco Factory takes risks and puts on performances such as this. I can highly recommend it, both to dance lovers and novices like myself. It took both of us out of our comfort zone, and I think he grudgingly enjoyed it. I loved it.

The show is on for one more night, TOMORROW Saturday 19th at 7:30, so get there if you can.

-Review by Karen Blake

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