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Guest review 2: Dick Walsh (replacing Shane Bergin) on ‘Sunny’

Wed 24 May 2017

Guest review 2: Dick Walsh (replacing Shane Bergin) on ‘Sunny’

In Sunny Emanuel Gat and Awir Leon have created a piece that has deceptively simple choreography. Awir Leon stands towards the back of the stage with a desk and a mic and sings songs he’s written himself (it’s the kind of music that I associate with a house party at two o'clock in the morning). This music is accompanied by ten dancers.

But I think my association with the two o'clock in the morning image is right. It’s specifically a house party though, not a club. It’s not as intense as a club. I think the choreography is about something much more informal. The music comes and goes. Dancers leave and come back with different costumes. There is an element of showing off, but not too much. None of the moves are spectacular. You sense the performers are highly skilled, but they’re leaving the acrobatic stuff for another time. Now they’re dancing with the music that Awir is playing. Feeling it. There is a lot happening at once. The ten dancers often break into separate groups doing separate things. There is so much to look at. Sometimes they speak to each other, giving each other instructions that the audience can't hear. And they seam to be rehearsing moves rather than performing them.

The atmosphere is low stakes but it’s compelling none the less. It’s informal but never boring as there’s always so much to look at.

But there seems to be something more complex going on that belies the simplicity of ten dancers and a pop singer. The show touched on how humans relate to each other, how we communicate, frailty, human failure. We saw people caring for each other, enjoying each other’s company, giving each other the chance to show off a little but also taking the chance themselves too when the time came. We saw them working together; as couples, as trios, as small groups. And this suggested its own humanity too.

I can’t pretend to explain this piece. What they were doing was simple but there was a lot mined from it. As Emanuel said himself in the post show discussion. “Choreography is about movement, time and space, but the answers to these three things are endless.”

***

Words by Dick Walsh, replacing Shane Bergin. Dick Walsh is a Dublin-based theatre maker.