Review: Broken by Motionhouse


Blackpool is slowly becoming a place to once again highlight unique, quality and spectacular things. I say ‘things’ for it transcends classification until you look at respond accordingly.

Granted we as a town have seen our fair share of ‘thing’s, whether disappointments, waifs and strays and sticky floors, however we are fortunate to have magic amongst us and presented to us at times.

Blackpool Grand Theatre has started to showcase some of the countries best dance and performance pieces in an attempt to engage new audiences in an increasingly online economy. Bums on seats is forever a challenge.

A month ago I was fortunate to take part in a masterclass workshop with 2 Faced Dance Company and later see their stage performance, which was wonderful way to understand the processes involved in a staged dance piece.

I went on to live my life day-by-day, eating similar foods and saying similar things, but something had changed. I was thinking about the Grand Theatre and whats next in the way of new dance showcases. Because I was aware, invited to see and then asked to watch,  I was now hooked.

My next adventure was to take place thanks to Motionhouse and their one night showcase of Broken. On Tuesday 19 November I was invited to attend a show with Fylde Coast Youth Dance Company (FCYDC). There were many local faces there from the arts as well as our new Creative People & Places representatives, whom offered an opportunity for local youth dance provisions to come together and experience Motionhouse. It was fantastic to see so many young people at the event, many of which were training within dance or using these experiences in support of their Arts Award training.

Motionhouse have been entertaining audiences for over 25 years and are based in Leamington Spa.

Broken is a probing and dynamic presentation of how we encounter our surroundings and understand the world in which we live, love and struggle in. It takes us on a journey through a time when the earth and its inhabitants were tribal, something more dark and uncertain, through to present day seismic disasters and problem solving. All of this is seamlessly knitted together through dance,  acrobatics and new media technology. This was not just a “99 with a flake please” it was a “i want what they’ve got mummy”. Phenomenal physical poise and strength was showcased from all the dancers involved. Moments of stillness and balance interwoven with high energy lifts, holds and connections as a group to help with a narrative as apposed to a class in technique.

One particular aspect that stood out was at a time the dancers were in the present day, experiencing an earthquake. Video trickery and simple use of props and supports, allowed the dancers to make us feel part of a traumatic and dangerous plight for survival.

Broken plays with your head and your heartstrings whilst assaulting most of your senses, but in a way in which you follow and connect with the relevance of what you are seeing. It is an example of how contemporary dance can push its own boundaries, whilst giving the audience a platform from which to gaze at our own growth and demise and yet beauty throughout.

Blackpool has had its coastline shaken by this dance spectacle in such a way that when you step out  from the stalls back into the real world, you cant help but interact with it differently, challenge its purpose and use it in a new way.

As a small town with big tourism, many wonder of the importance of these types of activity for Blackpool’s residents, but lest we forget, we to give birth to future dancers, artists, creative thinkers and leaders, so to challenge ourselves through supporting events such as this and sharing these experiences aurally or physically, will continue to illuminate and develop Blackpool entertainment industry once again.

The Grand is bringing the water to the horse, so lap it up!

For more information about Motionhouse go online to www.motionhouse.co.uk or to find out more about Creative People & Places in Blackpool & Wyre click here.

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