Battersea Arts Centre at The Place: Hannah Sullivan and Nic Green

The Place near Euston showcases contemporary dance; Battersea Arts Centre in south London hosts contemporary theatre. The two venues have decided to partner up and put on productions that don’t fit easily into either the “dance” or “theatre” category.

I saw two pieces of dance-theatre, the first being Echo Beach by Hannah Sullivan. In this piece Hannah showed us her dance “collection” (called “dancing like everyone I know”) and used dance to reminisce about her family and her life. I really warmed to her and enjoyed hearing her anecdotes; her dancing was entertaining and diverse. If anything, I would have liked to learn more about the events she talked about in the piece.

Nic Green’s Fatherland was very different. Nic met her biological Scottish father only once, when she was younger. Her piece explored this meeting while incorporating elements of Scottish culture – Gaelic, whisky, bagpipes and a Highland jig – to examine her paternal line in the absence of a well-known father figure. We, the audience, were invited to repeat poetry in the form of a chant, involving us directly in the piece. On paper this sounds rather odd, but in the moment I was certainly moved and impressed: I found the piece very powerful. Perhaps contemporary dance is something I should explore further.

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