Motionhouse – Charge 27:04:2018

Lighthouse, Poole

Intensely physical, relentlessly kinetic, this electrifying new work from Motionhouse founder and artistic director Kevin Finnan is the third – and arguably most human – part of his Earth trilogy.

Fusing science and the creative arts it looks at our relationship with energy, specifically electricity, from the first sparks of human life, through thoughts and movement to how we manipulate energy and how it can affect our environment, both natural and man-made, from the life-giving power of the Sun to the mechanised alienation of the urban rat trap.

The dancers fizz in near perpetual motion, responding to, interacting with and, on occasion, disappearing into the brilliantly conceived set in which digital imagery is projected on screens, dissolving the boundary with live performance to become an additional character in a gripping narrative about what it is to be us.

The music and lighting complete the immersive experience and should the temptation to blink prove too much one particularly helpful passage uses blasts of strobe effects to freeze the action in a series of single frames.

But as much as the performers’ acrobatic skill, strength and dynamic grace are mesmerising to watch, what emerges from the retina-searing spectacle is powerfully and perhaps unexpectedly emotional. The pull of memory, childhood, parenthood, fear of dangers real and imagined, the possibilities of hope and, above all, the sanctity of love are at the heart of this smart, inventive and profoundly human story.

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