So this review is going to be difficult, mostly because I am a wee bit scared of contemporary dance, even if it is termed 'dance theatre'. I find it beautiful to watch but I'm always on the hunt for a story, a reason, a point. Tonight's show was at the MAC Belfast as part of Belfast Festival at Queen's.
The Falling Song seemed to be about, well, falling. A child who climbs a high tree and falls, a couple falling in love and falling out of love again, apples falling from a tree, catching people who are falling over, an ice dancer who needs the support of his bar to stop him falling and ambitious Icarus falling from the clouds. Despite the childlike excitement of some of the scenes and moments of real humour, I felt there was an undertone to the proceedings that always hinted at suicide - falling off a cliff or having to be protected from a fall. The setting of ropes around trees made me think of gallows, or suicide by hanging. Perhaps this is based on awareness of my own mental heath issues but I always felt the falling into depression undertone, no matter how lighthearted the performance got.
Ballyholme Primary School choir were excellent. Well organised and rehearsed, they added a child-like simplicity to proceedings. I enjoyed the live music which was at times loud, brash and pumping, reflecting the emotion of the characters but also uncomplicated and transparent when the characters were reflective and supportive. The piece flowed really well, the scenes just the right length and the dancers were lithe and beautiful (with particular mention for Jesse Kovarsky who stole the show for Matthew and me...).
The end for me was a puzzle. I'm not sure if the characters realised they had a choice whether to let themselves fall; that having each other while falling was better than having no-one; or if they all actually killed themselves.
Needless to say, I'm glad I found a story line and I'm delighted that I'm now a little less scared of contemporary dance.