10 year old Alfie Moulson has come along to several of the dance shows this season at The Lowry and here is what he thought of them…
Rambert Review by Alfie Moulson, age 9
I went to see Rambert at the Lowry. They were performing 4 different dances.
L’Apres-midi d’un faune.
Three stars out of five.
The costumes were good and reminded me of ancient Egypt and Greece. For me the dance was was quite slow & confusing. It was more classically influenced and I thought there could be a bit more action in it. I liked the set & the dancers were all very good with great timing but this was my least favourite of the bunch.
What Wild Ecstasy
Five stars out of five.
The curtains opened and we saw giant wasps which I thought were fabulous. There were a lot of colours in this dance. The costumes were all brightly coloured, orange, green, yellow, pink, purple making the dancers look like flowers. The music was interesting, it was quite grabby, the dance was set outdoors in nature and was very action-packed and intriguing. The timing was perfect and the dancers danced in difference combinations of duos and trios and larger groups. I thought this was brilliant.
Four and a half stars out of Five
Quite exciting. A lot of interesting trios and duets and I was really impressed with how the dancers stayed in sync with each other. The dance mixed ballet and contemporary and I thought a bit of martial arts. The costumes were quite simple and dark, the men wore vests and shorts and the women wore corsets and shorts. The set was OK, it was very plain. Perhaps this was to show off the dancing, it made me think that they were on a mountain. The music was also peaceful. This was probably one of the audience’s favourite pieces.
During the interval I was lucky enough to get to talk to Barak Marshall the American choreographer of the fourth piece, The Castaways which was going to be shown in public for the first time that night. I asked Barak if he was nervous about the premiere and he told me that as he gets older he gets less nervous and that he loves the company Rambert and amazing opportunities it gives him. Then I asked him if he would be sad when the show ended and he said “No, because the dance doesn’t end for me.”.
Ten stars out of Five.
Amazing. Great. Brilliant costumes. Great timing. Awesome show. The best show I’ve seen in ages. Personally, this was my favourite one. Very clear yet still very interesting. It was about 12 people stuck together in an underground place that day. It was the first time I’d heard dancers talk in a dance piece and it was a bit more like a play or a musical than a piece of dance. The music and the movement were both very exciting. I think Barak Marshall did a terrific job choreographing this.
Michael Clark Company Review by Alfie Moulson, age 10
I went to see the the Michael Clark Company at The Lowry. They were very good. The evening was quite short and divided into three parts.
Four and half stars out of five.
The dancing was great and the costumes were all simple and were black, but the problem with it was that the music was probably the smoothest I’ve heard in my life, it was too smooth and sounded curvy. There were six dancers, they had bare feet and they all came on stage in different, graceful ways which I thought was good! I especially liked that one of the dancers came flying down on a wire!!! It must be exciting to be able to fly.
Three and a half stars out of five.
The music was by the Sex Pistols. This dance piece was the shortest and the loudest. It felt a bit like clockwork. The music was a bit shouty.
Five stars out of five.
This was my favourite piece. It was a great piece of dancing with very futuristic costumes, some were very shiny and kind of glittery. It was the first time they used the screen behind to project words onto. Some of it was confusing but interesting. The last two songs were really rocky.
DRAGON reviewed by Alfie Moulson, age 10
Dragon! ! ! ! ! Four stars out of five.
Dragon is about a boy called Tommy who lives in Glasgow. Basically heʼs got a lot of problems going on at school and at home. His mumʼs just died and itʼs left him sad and angry with feelings he canʼt control. His sister canʼt help him. His dad is stuck in grief and doesnʼt realise that Tommy is suffering too. He doesnʼt like his dadʼs new girlfriend, he feels itʼs replacing his mum too soon. There are two boys who bully him at school – they beat him up in the playground and torment him in the classroom. But eventually he starts beating up the bullies.
The dragons in the play stand for his emotions. They represent his anger, sadness, and sometimes happiness. The dragons get bigger and change in colour and appearance as Tommyʼs problems get worse and he canʼt handle them. There is no dialogue in this play except for the very end and even then very small amounts. I thought the actors did a good job of translating the emotions without words.
The dragon puppets were awesome and the actors were also puppeteers. Sometimes it took 4 people to move the dragons. I also thought the set was very clever. There was a scene set in a swimming pool which I thought was good – the actors became part of the pool which was smart. In another scene the roof of a tenement in Glasgow turned into a dragon which Tommy rode on because he felt like running away from his life.The end of the play is very moving when Tommyʼs dad recognises his suffering and sees the dragon for the very first time. The lady next to me was crying.
Overall I liked the way the performers moved, the music was very good and although I thought bits of Dragon were a bit hard to follow I enjoyed it.
Matthew Bourneʼs Swan Lake reviewed by Alfie Moulson, age 10
This production deserves ten stars out of five. It started off in a palace with the Prince and he was having a dream where a swan was flying in the window. He awoke in a massive bed, got up and there were loads of maids and servants and soldiers all dancing and the prince fell out with the Queen. The set was giant and made all the people look small and I thought the costumes were incredible, mainly black and white with only the queen wearing regal red.
The set changed and the royal party were watching a ballet performance with butterflies and a lumberjack and some ogres or goblins who had amazing masks and giant long fingers they bent backwards as they were dancing. The butterfly costumes were good too.
Then the Prince escaped from the palace to a bar. In the bar there were lots of brightly dressed people including some sailors. In this scene there were lots of duets and the dancing seemed more modern than traditional ballet. The Prince got in a fight with the sailors and got thrown out of the bar. Wandering home he found himself at a lake where the swans lived.
I loved the swans costumes, they were all male and wore white, feathery shorts. On their heads they had black diamonds painted with make-up which looked like beaks. It was very clever how the choreography turned the dancers into swans, the way they held their heads and necks and positioned their arms made them look more birdlike than human.
In the second half there was more energetic and powerful routines and the swans got very sweaty. I found bits of the story confusing but all the dancing was amazing and it was quite sad at the end. The whole cast were brilliant. Simon Williams, who played the Prince was a good actor as well as a first-class dancer and you could tell the characterʼs feelings through his expressions as well as his movements. Jonathan Ollivier who was the Swan was one of the best dancers I have ever seen. Everyone in the audience stood up at the end to applaud. Iʼve never seen Swan Lake before but canʼt imagine it could be any better with girls.