YDance: Project Y 2019
- Lorna Irvine
- 25 July 2019
Outstanding choreography with female dancers at the centre
There's something incredibly empowering about seeing young women owning a stage. So it is with YDance (Scottish Youth Dance) and their superb latest show Project Y 2019, which was created in just three weeks with four leading professional choreographers. It's all about the strength and vibrancy of young women.
Thomas Small's 'The Other' interrogates ideas of othering, as a blonde woman is singled out by the rest of the ensemble, and tries to style it out, but is bullied. Frenetic bursts of movement give way to exploring ideas around uniformity, as evinced by bobbing heads and marching feet. Suddenly, dancers break free and in acrobatic displays of freestyling, they each reinforce the idea of becoming individual.
Christine Devaney brings a different kind of narrative with 'Yes We Are The Future And Yes We Are Dancing For You'. Here, the young women resemble a hippy cult in white and gold flowing clothes, escaping and becoming club kids. They each make a statement, beginning, 'I am'. The playful and intelligent movements are influenced by urban and hip-hop dance, and they cheekily pull faces, refusing to kowtow to 'duck face' poses on social media. Forming pairs, it's all about pulling together and working in tandem.
'Something To Say' by Tony Adigun is mesmerising, a more abstract piece. In pastel colours, the women pulse in a line, as one woman, ready to make a statement, is silenced by others, who form a wall around her.
Set to a glitchy soundtrack by Ben Frost, the juddery movements resemble semaphores, before chains are formed and, ultimately, the team connect in mirrored gestures. It's a call to arms, and a request for female autonomy.
Rosie Kay's 'A Baroque Fantasy' takes the music of Vivaldi and Kurtag as its inspiration. Her muscular choreography fuses balletic phrasing with more contemporary work, and has the immediacy of improvisatory solos. In black appliqued tops and cycling shorts, the dancers' fusion of styles is urgent, and absolutely fierce. The future is here, and it is unstoppable.
Tramway, Glasgow, Wed 24 Jul; Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling, Thu 25 Jul; Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, Fri 26 Jul; Eden Court, Inverness, Sat 27 Jul.