Image: Heidrun Löhr
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Mountains Never Meet – Andrew Batt-Rawden
Thank you for that wonderful experience of Mountains Never Meet last Saturday.
I wanted to tell you about some audience members that were sitting next to Annette in the front row on the left.
A family came in (late, after the first piece), with a baby. They were extremely excited, whispering throughout the entire performance and shushing others behind them (hilariously). Their baby (maybe 1 or 2 years old) was entranced by the entire performance, and kept pointing to what must have been his (gorgeous) older brother or possibly uncle. They ‘wooted’ when the men on stage took off a layer of clothing (as I had wanted to but my well-entrenched etiquette prevented me) and were very enthusiastic applauders at the end of the concert.
This said a few things to me – 1 that they didn’t have the same background of etiquette as I did (and therefore probably don’t normally go to contemporary dance or music), but 2 that they enjoyed the event completely. They were there to see their son/brother… who knows if they would have come otherwise.
There were moments where they laughed when I thought laughter wasn’t appropriate (like when the dancers ran to the right side of the stage, bent over and thrust their hands in the air behind them… I didn’t see this as comical but a wonderful development of the form, and quite stark contrast to other developments that were happening)… this also said a lot – that what I feel is expected of contemporary dance and quite a natural and inventive progression of the movement was to them quite surprising to the point of finding it funny.
This, perhaps, typifies the audience that all contemporary arts try to include as participants or audience in all of our ‘audience development’ programs. I was so impressed that not only were they thoroughly engaged by the performance, but also were so proud of their very tough looking son.
For me the experience was pure delight. I attend contemporary dance for pleasure, as I can not really enjoy contemporary music as it is work for me. This event really blew me away with its ingenuity on an artistic level, community engagement level, and production level. The dancers were so disciplined on stage, the music perfect (and very cleverly used), and the choreography’s greater form was very engaging whilst the choreography’s detail was so well thought out. The addition of the duet at the beginning, to me, was the perfect metaphor for the two worlds colliding – not only did those mountains meet, but they danced so well together… you’re moving and shaking.
So thanks again – and please keep offering me freebies so I can keep turning them down and buying tickets…. Well, until I’m really skint and can’t afford it!