Luna, Glasgow

Tramway, Glasgow
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Dressed in T-shirt and trousers, Luna seems at first sight a little old-fashioned. But as 11 dancers move with the flow of ideas, 21st-century technology brings the show comfortably up to date. Choreographed by Canadian Ginette Laurin and performed by O Vertigo, the Montreal-based company she founded in 1984, Luna breathes on you gently and in just over an hour covers light years in dance.

The movement is abstract, but this is a piece underlined in words. Galaxy, pulsar, constellation, eclipse, gravity - all conjure the romance of science and heaven. To a soundtrack of church music and scientific noises, a female narrator offers tempting titbits about the stars. The audience freefalls between the possible connections.

There is so much choreography in this piece that there often seems to be more people on stage than there actually are. Dancers move on and off rapidly and configurations change constantly. As scratchy radio communications fade to cello, groups of two or three expand into nine. They move fast and slow and throw each other around. A lot of spacey sign language keeps upper bodies moving almost non-stop. Hands fly. Patterns are made and broken and recycled into something else. A man holds a woman in a star shape, then she does the same for him.

Even with all the dance, Luna is packed with props. Giant spherical lenses magnify and distort proportions to mysterious effect, a simple conceit that is especially effective when the performers' images float like transparent embryos against a black starlit sky. Film is also used to shine molten matter onto the billowing white silk crinoline of a single dancer, lifted to twice her height.

Moods are switched easily and without drama. Nothing grates. This is uplifting, heavenly dance, inspired by the moon, but as much about celebrating the cycle of humanity that lives under its pale, magical light.


Alice Bain

The GuardianTramp

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