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  • Chris O'Rourke

In Place

Linda Fearon and Leighton Morrison in In Place. Image by Luca Truffarelli.


Culture Night. The Irish Museum of Modern Art. Coming up to eight in the evening. The time when Croí Glan's latest work In Place is about to begin. A quartet of dances choreographed by Tara Brandel performed in promenade in and around the courtyard of The Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Running time about an hour. If you're lucky you just might make it back into town to catch another Culture Night event. Except it's now 8.15 with no sight of the show. After 8.20 you finally get the call. By now you're apt to be feeling somewhat unforgiving. Thinking, 'this had better have been worth the wait.' Turns out, it is. And then some.

Linda Fearon and Leighton Morrison in In Place. Image by Luca Truffarelli.

Featuring two interlinked duets and two interlinked solos, the audience are divided into groups and led to different spaces. Ensuring that whichever order you encounter the works might well lead to a different experience. Beginning with a duet next to the stables, dancers Linda Fearon and Leighton Morrison weave past each other like two ships passing in the night, each oblivious to the other. Hugging walls, swatting away unseen bothers, distance is informed by subtle connections, Fearon not so much mirroring Morrison's movement's as echoing them. Making a perfect counterpoint to their second duet in the courtyard where Fearon enters, clutching walls and pillars, her movements informed by reach and resignation. Morrison, a little distance away, plays with shadows courtesy of some immaculate lighting by Sarah Jane Shiels. A shift in music opens out into a sort of mating ritual as Fearon and Morrison finally come together, finding and re-finding moments of connection, with Ray Harman's superb score the cherry on top of a sensitively gorgeous finale.

Tara Brandel in In Place. Image by Luca Truffarelli.

Two interlinked solos performed by Tara Brandel again see Harman's score proving hugely impressive. Beginning with a somewhat subdued solo in the doorway beneath the clock tower. Entering like a witch, or druid, or that strange creature from Little Nightmares, a hooded Brandel engages with the doorway finding connections but no entrance. Yet the final sequence, outside the courtyard, brings it all home. Wall, doorway, fence, steps, Brandel crafts some sublime moments defined by power, elegance, and beauty.

Tara Brandel in In Place. Image by Luca Truffarelli.

With In Place we find Brandel engaging less with spaces so much as their architecture, finding organic connections where none might first appear to exist. Like a child exploring the world around them, Brandel feels for points of contact then illuminates the body within those spaces, and consequently the spaces and buildings involved. Which should make for some fascinating challenges when In Place tours. Especially Fearon and Morrison's final duet, which culminates in the most tender and sensual of connections for having refused easy resolution, and for being informed by the magnitude and majesty of the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The perfect backdrop for Fearon. Indeed, if you want to see what the need to dance looks like, look no further than Fearon. Her restricted movement range doesn't leave her less expressive, rather the opposite. Fearon digs so deep down to invest every movement with her truth, it’s impossible not to be blown away.

In Place by Croí Glan Integrated Dance Company, choreographed by Tara Brandel and performed by Linda Fearon, Leighton Morrison and Tara Brandel, runs at the Irish Museum of Modern Art till September19 before transferring to Ballina Arts Centre, Oct 10; Limerick City Art Gallery, October 26; West Cork Arts Centre (also live-streamed) October 30.

For more information visit Croí Glan Integrated Dance Company.


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