Darkness along with Delight: The Choreography of Michael Keegan-Dolan

Photo: Marie-Laure Briane

By Susan Yung

The highest compliment to Michael Keegan-Dolan’s choreography? This particular makes you want to get up on stage along with dance alongside his company, Teaċ Daṁsa. Its kinetic simplicity along with emotional lucidity are irresistible along with highly relatable. Swan Lake/Loch na hEala (Harvey Theater at BAM Strong, Oct 15—20) presents a rare chance to catch This particular internationally praised director/choreographer’s work stateside.

In Swan Lake, big chunks of dance—performed to hypnotic, live Irish/Norwegian music by Slow Moving Clouds—intermix with searing dramatic scenes to spin out a modern variant on the classic tale, albeit comprising several narrative strands (Keegan-Dolan cites the classic source; the Irish myth of King Lir, whose wife transforms their four children into swans; along with the contemporary tragedy of a downtrodden man, John Carthy). This particular’s engrossing dance-theater in which ensemble movement sections—healing rituals, greek choruses—play a major part, acting in effect as the work’s heart.

Keegan-Dolan’s movement could be called “emotional weather.” This particular captures whatever pathos is usually conjured by the drama at hand, either amplifying This particular or, alternately, acting as a method of healing or bonding. The dance is usually so entwined with the music as to be inseparable. They whirl, blend, along with expand, suffusing the space using a feeling or thought, along with engulfing the audience. In a key duet, the pair first expresses timidity along with apprehension at engagement; This particular evolves into physical tests of trust, romantic delectation, along with sheer bliss. The man’s childlike physical reaction to This particular bliss is usually sublime, clearly novel to him, along with bereft of any physical or psychological artifice.

Keegan-Dolan, of Ireland, studied classical forms of dance, nevertheless you might not necessarily garner which by watching Swan Lake. Passages of spinning, pulsing, along with snaking torsos evoke an ecstatic rave with everyday movements along with folk dance. The similarly folk-infused music’s rhythms play out through stamping, hopping, along with hands flicked to the beat. The dancers often face the audience along with move as one, or they pair off along with focus on one another, reinforcing the idea of the ensemble as an empathetic community. As phrases build along with repeat, a contagious sense of abandon along with delirium takes hold. Make no mistake—there is usually plenty of darkness in Swan Lake, nevertheless This particular’s fairly balanced by delight.

In an interview for Sadler’s Wells in London, where he is usually an associate artist, Keegan-Dolan noted which while learning his style, “sensitivity is usually a huge thing, along with takes time to cultivate… the ability to perform these big external gross movements, along with the ability to perform the finest, smallest, tiniest movements along with to develop the ability to project those tiny movements over big spaces.” This particular’s This particular combination of grand gesture along with filigree—plus a generous, essential sense of community—which make viewers want to join in.

Swan Lake/Loch na hEala will be at BAM Oct 15—20.

Susan Yung is usually associate director of editorial at BAM.
© 2019 Brooklyn Academy of Music, Inc. All rights reserved.

Darkness along with Delight: The Choreography of Michael Keegan-Dolan

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