Dublin Dance Festival 2017: At Home Alone
Dreaming Dance for the Digital Generation The body, real and digitally distorted, along with bundles of passion, insight and intelligence, informs “At Home Alone,” a perceptive little educational gem aimed at the very young by Italian outfit, Balletto di Roma. Looking to bridge the divide between dance and technology for the digital generation, “At Home Alone,” goes right back to the basic of basics, that impulse that dares you to dream, alone in your room, without restraint or inhibition, where anything is possible.
As its young audience spills into the auditorium, “At Home Alone’s” lone dancer dances before her computer screen to Flashdance…What A Feeling, repeating the beginning of the song over and over with different moves each time. You quickly realise that's the point, that there is no right way, that we can always begin again and again, especially in the privacy of our rooms. With howls of nervous laughter and oodles of ohhs and ahh’s, the young audience move from nervous, to playful, to engaged as the dancer, using camera distortions, redefines the possibilities and limits of the dancing body. At times it gets repetitive, with some sections and songs more successful than others, but the introduction of a second dancer soon livens things up again as “At Home Alone” works its deceptively alluring magic on its unsuspecting audience. If, at first, they’re all loud, uncertain and nervous, by the end they’re all laughing and uninhibited, with many showing their own dance moves to camera, or just getting up and being happy to give it a go, even if only for a moment. There is little in “At Home Alone” that speaks to the disinterested neutral or casual observer. This is a production for those with a passion for dance education and the moulding of young, digital minds, for whom anything can become image with even the most basic technology. But mainly it’s a production for the next generation, encouraging them to dream. It might all descend into organised chaos, it might even seem to become all about the technology, but that's okay. By the end a spark has been ignited and fear has left the room. If “At Home Alone” explores possible relationships between dance and technology for the Skype, Selfie, Snapchat generation, it does so by encouraging their excitement for the possible, suggesting not so much that anything is possible, but rather that everything is.
“At Home Alone” by Balletto di Roma, runs at The Ark until May 20th as part of Dublin Dance Festival 2017