Born in Devon, choreographer Rosie Kay spent her teenage years living in Edinburgh – so in some small way, Scotland can claim her as our own. Her five-star show 5 Soldiers toured the country to great acclaim recently, and it was good to see Kay north of the Border again – even if the double bill the company brought with it this time didn’t deliver on all fronts.
Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock ***
Double Points: K was first seen in Scotland at the Fringe in 2008, performed by Kay herself. But the piece started life in the hands of Italian Emio Greco, a unique and special dancer few can emulate. So for those, like myself, who saw Greco perform Double Points: two, those taking on Kay’s re-worked version have much to live up to.
Pushing that aside, dancers Oliver Russell and Shelley Eva Haden attack the choreography with a compelling intensity. Leg muscles work overtime on demi-pointe, arms sweep round like helicopter blades, and the atmospheric lighting gives the piece an almost science fiction feel.
But if Russell and Haden are put to excellent use in Double Points: K, they are entirely wasted in Motel. Inspired by artist duo Huntley Muir’s series of motel room paintings, this highly sexual work has neither an emotional heart nor engaging choreography, leaving the audience at a loss as to what to grip on to. Kay has proved herself many times to be a talent worth watching – but sadly not on this occasion.