Dillon Dance - We Stand Alone Together
It's not often that a work of dance hits the spot as well as Dillon Dance's We Stand Alone Together. With its dark staging, percussive score and rich choreography, We Stand Alone Together thrusts us into the depths of a personal struggle.
The work begins carefully, with dancer Charlotte Hannah stepping out of the silent darkness. She stares forward, her hands and arms trembling, motioning as if trying to wrench at her stomach. All the while there's a sense of intimate self awareness. From the outset, choreographer Shaun Dillon's exploration of darkness, desperation and loneliness is striking.
|Dancer Emily Robinson in rehearsal with Dillon Dance, PC: Alice Underwood Films|
From here, composer Jennifer Whittaker's percussive score swells and rumbles. The group of women sweep across the space, their bodies throbbing and wavering. These sumptuous moments of unison are punctured as a dancer falls out of line. Dancer Emily Robinson finds herself suddenly alone, she lingers on a thought and then throws herself back into movement. She tries and tries again, there's a familiar sense of relentless desperation.
|Dancer Charlotte Hannah in rehearsal with Dillon Dance, PC: Alice Underwood Films|
Later, another dancer stumbles into the darkness. This time she truly is alone. The realisation hits- it's happening again- and she shatters into screams. While delving into the pain of individual struggle, Dillon simultaneously examines the strength of unity. A reassuring hand is placed on a shoulder and a lone dancer is swept up by the group. The dancers have army-like precision in their use of unison. There is no doubt that they have strength in their unity.
Dillon expertly builds up tension alongside Whittaker's unyielding score. There is a real feeling of agitation and restlessness that seems to stem from a deep-seated sense of frustration. The tension erupts as the group dive into a full bodied sequence, which throws them through the floor and across the space, peeling off into canon and then slipping back into the group.
|Dillon Dance in rehearsal, PC: Alice Underwood Films|
Dillon's choreography is bold and uncompromising. Every decision appears carefully considered, a testament to Dillon's attention to detail. Above all, honesty shines through the choreography. There are no clichés, nothing is skimmed over, and no loose ends are left hanging. Dillon is definitely a choreographer to keep watching in the future.
Interested in Shaun Dillon's work? Check out Shaun's interview with The Insanity in Dancing here.
Resolution! 2017 continues until 25 February at The Place, for more information visit: http://www.theplace.org.uk. Maya wrote for Resolution! Review 2016, want to see last year's articles? Click here for more!