Dance review: ACT

FIFTY years ago political dissatisfaction came to a head, leading to protests and unrest in countries around the world. Inspired by the 1968 riots, particularly those led by students, Scottish Dance Theatre's Creative Learning team decided to cause a little disruption of its own with ACT.

A mix of young companies and professionals put on a show inspired by riots

Dundee Rep ***

Ten distinct pieces, each with its own agenda, were delivered by a mix of young companies and professionals, and if the blistering intent of those 1968 events wasn’t quite evoked, there was certainly a sense of disquiet – whether it came from shouting into a loudhailer or incorporating the poetry of Maya Angelou.

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Images of rebellion, and a general sense of questioning the status quo, were threaded throughout the choreography, and there was something wonderfully egalitarian about seeing those just starting out share a platform with more established dancers.

Yet it was the moments of beauty and intimacy that really resonated: the atmospheric lighting design of Simon Gane, illuminating the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland’s Di-ver-gent; the fluidity of student Francesca Till’s movement in her culturally evocative duet, Contemporary Traditions, or the clever theatricality of Éowyn Emerald’s colourful quartet, Trinary.

Perhaps fittingly for a show inspired by riots, a work which started out on the street had the most impact. Split into three sections, Curated Moments by choreographer Katie Milroy book-ended the show, and served as interval entertainment in the foyer. A struggle for inner peace consumed five dancers, with Rachel Morgan and Millie Daniel-Dempsey’s touching duet proving particularly arresting.