AS A BOY, choreographer Frank McConnell holidayed with family on South Uist, hearing stories about how listening to nature – rather than the BBC – used to dictate weather-related plans.
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Rating: * * *
McConnell has ploughed all of this into More Sky Than We Need, his latest work for Highlands-based dance company Plan B. The result is a subtle, contemplative work that provokes a sense of reflection, but not a huge amount else.
Three dancers and a cellist, dressed in shades of silvery grey silk, fill the stage with gentle movement and patterns. Mimicking the clouds above us, they billow softly before picking up speed and sweeping through the air. When all three dancers sway in time, it’s the visual equivalent of a lullaby.
Towards the end, a solo dancer becomes the manifestation of an angry, lightening-charged sky. Briefly, the beautiful music that accompanies throughout is replaced by the sound of aeroplanes and static voices discussing climate change – lest we forget our treatment of the sky on a daily basis.
By way of staging, four delicate and transparent curtains are pulled back and forth, and a projected image of clouds, real and painted, forms the backdrop. Yet despite all this, it’s never quite enough to evoke the vast enormity of the sky, nor its beauty, stillness or drama.