Rob Heaslip Dance: FREAGRA | A Blurred Expanse
Contemporary dance blends with rural folk in this new group show
Growing up in rural south west Ireland, Rob Heaslip soaked up more than just the rain. The atmosphere and culture set his creative juices flowing, which were then honed during his time as a dancer with Siamsa Tire, the acclaimed National Folk Theatre of Ireland. Since 2010 Heaslip has been creating his own work, drawing on contemporary dance styles – but he has never forgotten his roots.
‘A lot of my work puts folk tradition in a contemporary context,’ says Heaslip. ‘I’m often surprised when this is hailed as new and original, because for me it seems like the most natural thing in the world. People often assume that folk belongs only to the past, but for me folk is very much alive in the present.’
Working in collaboration with his company of dancers, dramaturgist Brigid McCarthy and composer Ross Whyte, Heaslip’s latest work, FREAGRA | A Blurred Expanse, explores notions of identity and group dynamics. ‘I’ve always had an interest in making dance performance that is based on human interactions,’ he says, ‘and this has developed into detailed and complex partner-work, which has become a trademark of my choreography. ‘Identity is such an incredibly important thing to us as humans and to my work, and in FREAGRA | A Blurred Expanse the stage becomes a lens through which we examine subconscious impulses, and how and when we act on those.’
Tramway, Glasgow, Fri 1 & Sat 2 Jul.