DDF News — 20 May 2018

"I kept thinking about school & standing around a fire in a field" - Salvatore on Hard to be Soft

"I kept thinking about school & standing around a fire in a field" - Salvatore on Hard to be Soft

Hello, I’m Salvatore of Lucan and I’m a portrait painter. I was asked to respond to any show as part of Dublin Dance Festival, although I know nothing about dance other than liking to dance a lot on me own and sometimes in public when I’m drunk or when I’m off my face. I had never been to a dance show before I saw Oona Doherty’s show last night. I was incredibly intimidated, by my own fault.

As a painter, I go to a lot of exhibitions. I often perceive the crowd as snobbish, and the work itself alienating. In fact I don’t really like art, I just like painting. And so I was nervous about going to see this show. I didn’t really wanna go sit with a load of awfully-awfullys and look at something I didn’t understand.

To my surprise and relief, what I saw was actually class. I don’t know how to expand on that. I suppose I’m just asking you to take me word for it that I’m being very sincere when I say that. Trying to describe a painting is usually pointless, and I imagine trying to describe all dance shows is as well. I stayed afterwards to watch a Q&A with Oona, and she made an amazing show of herself. Now, she started by saying that she had been going for some sort of Sci-Fi buzz with the show. I didn’t pick up on that, nor did I pick up on any of the religious themes which I have since heard it was about.

I just kept thinking about school and standing around a fire in a field, like the scene presented at the opening of the show. At times, the dancers held positions for so long that you became bored, becoming like paintings or sculptures. The transitions of the solo dancer (Oona) from one face to another face were so quick, so fucking chaotic. Character transitions that we all make, but sped up so we saw the contrast so clearly. Her solo bits reminded me, at times, of my mate’s Ma from when I was growing up. Somehow I relived an awful lot of the time before I went to college, and it made me wonder where a lot of my old friends are now. But this is about Belfast, and the audio clips of Northern accents are really nice to listen to. She mentioned afterwards that she wanted to work with young lads in the young offender’s prison up North. She’d tried it before and it didn’t work; she’d have to be there at the same time every week, year on year, so they’d know she was dependable. She said she always thinks she’s doing a new show but later realises she’s just doing the last show better. I hope she does go to work with the kids and make a new, improved show. I’d defo go and see it. Because after seeing her dance, and hearing her talk, I’d say she could connect with anyone.

Serious tekkers, she must practice fucking loads.