‘The dark stretches before us. There are people waiting. We would like to show you something, but we are not sure how. We are going to tell you what it is like, doing and faking, and doing and not doing. The dark stretches before us, but here we are, faced with the question, how do we go on?’ This is the prologue for the Vincent Dance Theatre’s current production, If We Go On, at the Brighton Dome. A show not for newbies in the world of contemporary dance, it is raw, dynamic and brash, making it a fascinating piece of work.
Using dance, text, music and song the production follows a group of performers just before they go on stage, addressing the insecurities that they encounter. Sitting in the audience was like sitting in a philosophy lecture. The strife and struggles that the performers grappled with provoked questions about broader issues: Is life a dress rehearsal? Are we all on life’s main stage? Such concepts left the audience reflecting on how they fit in with society.
There were some interesting uses of set and props. Harsh overhead lighting illuminated each performer when on stage. A cello was played as a guitar. A black board was used as a successful back drop, on which dancers were thrown upon, chairs smashed into and eventually an interesting design drawn.
The production ended as it started; demonstrating the repeating cycle of both a performer on stage, and more importantly, someone in life itself. Choreography, staging and music were all cleverly arranged and executed. ‘If We Go On’ is a powerful performance and worth seeing.