The International Arts Collective motto is clear: to create beautiful thought-provoking work for stage and film across the globe through the strength of collaboration and originality. Their new work ‘Free’, choreographed by the company’s Artistic Director Rose Alice, showcases the beauty and technical ability of the dancers, who were clearly invigorated by their passion to showcase a work that meant so much to each one of them.


Throughout the performance, I was entranced by the performers’ sound contemporary technique as they completed challenging phrases, lifts, turns and tricks that would have stunned even the most professional dancer within the audience. Yet, half way through I found myself flicking back through the programme to the synopsis to which part of it says: “Embracing equality…celebrating infinite freedom through heart, mind, body and soul.” The idea of equality was one that particularly stood out to me as being unfulfilled, where many of the dancers seemed to be fighting against each other, rather than working towards the goal of equality. Rose Alice urges her audience in the Artistic Director’s note: “Let’s FIGHT for FREEDOM, shall we?”. These two words epitomise the feeling behind the choreography’s motifs, however there was no sense of harmony between them.


While saying this, there was a clear sense of community and collaboration within the cast of dancers, who had undeniable chemistry on stage. Being the youngest member of the group, Marie Sheehy particularly stood out to me with her ability to hold the audience in the palm of her hand with her addictive energy and passion demonstrated within a short solo.


The musicians Al MacSween, Meg Morley and Joost Hendrickx created an electrifying live soundscape that complemented the intensity of the choreography with seamless effort. For me, hearing their eclectic mix of sounds was a highlight, as I felt that I was experiencing music mastery come alive right in front of me.


Even though the message was lost in the choreography, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the artists come alive on stage and being witness to an exhilarating new chapter in the International Arts Collective’s repertoire.


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Review: Michaella White