Review: hurry by Jean Butler | Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Saturday 18th May, 2013

Originally published by Entertainment.ie, Wednesday 22th May, 2013. To read the original, please click here.

Can’t rush this: Jean Butler in hurry

In hurry, former Riverdance star Jean Butler returns as choreographer of her own work in a new piece that is intensely lyrical.

Opening amid a clatter of polyrhythms, Butler’s new work blends her extensive knowledge and experience in Irish Step Dance with a very modern, contemporary twist. It’s the soundtrack by Jon Kinzel and Jim Dawson, above all, which gives hurry a modern sheen. At one point in the work, it feels as if we are transported to a park; kids are laughing and shouting in the background, there is the distinct hum of traffic whizzing past, as Butler’s fluid movements echo those of a yoga practitioner in the part… it is subtle touches such as these that lend the work a vital context. Featuring additional music on uilleann pipes by Ivan Goff, it is the clash of the modern and the traditional – a hallmark of much art and design throughout the Celtic Tiger years – that gives hurry a character that is all its own.

That said, however, the soundtrack doesn’t overshadow the nature of the live performance. On the wooden floor on which Butler performs, every breath that she takes, every scratch and squeak from the movement of her bare feet on the wooden floor can be heard, all of which leads the audience to believe that intimacy can be found amid the chaotic and modern landscape that hurry evokes. Where there is intimacy, however, there is also menace and fear; Butler’s calm, natural and unlabored movements are soon left behind as she runs around the space to the sound of an eerie, Orwell-esque buzz, which soundtracks her desperate and fear-induced movements.

At 45 minutes, hurry is, perhaps, a little long; for a work as nuanced and three-dimensional ashurry is, it would have, like Butler, worked better in a neater, more compact space. Running time aside, however, hurry marks a new development in a talent who continues to evolve with new and exciting work.

For more Dublin Dance Festival shows click here.

 

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