'Provoking and captivating'

Review by audience members - PickNMix Festival 2014

Marveled' by Gary Rowntree | Dance

Review by Polo - Test Drive the Arts NI 2014

Lighting design can often be seen as another presence on stage when in correct partnership with the choreography and this concept is taken a step further in The Light by Gary Rowntree | Dance. Branded as a solo, it is more apt to see this piece as a duet with the female soloist battling with the light, carried by another performer in black. Hunched on the floor underneath it, she reacts to the light, squirming, repelled by it, her body writhing and twisting as it is illuminates different parts of her. In one stunning travelling sequence the light moves backwards along a diagonal, the dancer springing forward along the floor and lowering herself from a plank. At times, she appears to be truly pained by the light, like a moth in the flame, the smoke behind the light supporting this effect. Other moments see her bask in the light, lying flat as she lets the light traverse the length of her body. It was fascinating to watch a piece that for the most part was refreshing and new, but at others harked back to the dance canon; as if Pavlova’s Dying Swan became another beautiful creature. I couldn’t help but imagine the piece set to Saint-Saëns after this image popped into my head, which made it seem like Rowntree had unintentionally created an adaptation. A pleasure to watch.

Review by Natalia Okeke

"The stage in Gary Rowntree | Dance’s aptly titled event, The Light, is dark and seemingly in complete abandon until a large floodlight manipulated by a faint silhouette reveals differently. Entering from upstage, the figure slowly sheds light in to the space, and then on what looks like a naked body, lying vulnerable in one corner. The light seems to act as a tool in revealing how one secretly lives uncomfortably in their own skin. Oona Doherty, in the most abstract fashion, delivers a stunningly intriguing performance as she delves deep in to the task of exploring and presenting a complex humanity. Writhing through the space like a lone animal in all manor of slides, dives and shifts, Doherty, when the light is agile enough to capture her, offers us not only an insight into human struggle, but also a unique perspective on how the body continues to evolve as being a vehicle in creating the most beautifully striking art"

Bryony Cooper, July 2013

"The highlight was a powerful, near-aggressive duet between Gary Rowntree and Dani Atkinson, starting with him spinning her around with her arms around her neck, and culminating in him stripping off her top and leaving her there to recover, semi-naked"
Chantal, Cloud Dance festival 2011

"Enigma - One of the stand out performances on the night"

Keith Acheson, CityDance Belfast 2011

 Gary Rowntree | Dance - Contemporary Dance Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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© Gary Rowntree | Dance 2013