Dance review: Tiny Songbirds, Lullaby Spirit, Tron, Glasgow
FROM the gentlest of openings to the rowdiest of closings, this night of music, dance and song had diversity at its core. Not just in terms of the entertainment on offer, but the individuals delivering it, and the groups that brought them together.
Advertised as an evening of performance, the event was more a launch of Tiny Songbirds, a collection of lullabies from around the world available in CD and booklet form. For those not directly involved in the project, therefore, 20 minutes of speeches felt a little incongruous.
What truly brought the project alive was Lullaby Spirit, a beautiful dance routine involving mothers and their pre-school charges. Choreographed by Natasha Gilmore, of Glasgow dance company Barrowland Ballet, the piece was filled with warmth and maternal love.
Working with non-professional dancers, Gilmore could easily have gone for stock phrases and easy steps, but chose instead to challenge the performers with evocative moves conjuring up images of sleep, comfort and safety. Performed by the Albanian-Scottish association and Maryhill Integration Network, as part of Refugee Week, such images had extra resonance given the troubled past of Albanians during the Kosovo war.
It was joy, not pain, that was being communicated on stage however, with Lullaby Spirit followed by a traditional dance duet, and live santoor performance by talented musician Iman Nezemian. If there was any doubt that this was a celebration, Samba Ya Bamba arrived to fuel the party spirit. A joyful ending that saw most of the audience dancing onstage alongside them.