Samuel Beckett Theatre
Back in the eighties, I used to sit under a duvet eating ice cream, watching Fame, and wishing I was a little more energetic. I remember being partly thrilled and partly repelled by the shiny, exuberance of the students from the New York City High School for the Performing Arts, and they way in which they felt compelled to break into dance at the drop of a hat. There’s something similar going on in Funk.
The Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre has brought six dancers together from six, unspecified, European countries. We are shepherded around the place, asked to stand, sit, shuffle forward, and move backwards as shockingly healthy bodies are shaken around us. They are good dancers, and some of the moves have me smiling and clapping, but there is no narrative and the funk music soundtrack, at first pleasantly groovy, becomes a little wearing as the hour drags on. I become gripped with the fear we will be asked to participate in the finale. “Maybe if we exude enough menace they won’t come near us,” my friend offers hopefully. That tactic didn’t work, though it did herald the end of the show.