Review: Tardigrade

Interesting fact: Taridgrades can suspend their metabolism for up to 10 years. Expect this show to similarly ensnare your attention


Samuel Beckett Theatre


Tardigrades aren't just nature's toughest creatures, able to suspend their metabolism dehydrated for up to 10 years; they are also likely to outlive mankind. What's more, the micro-animals are everywhere, silently co-existing with humans in moss and lichen. Philip Connaughton's Tardigrade sets up similar unknown co-existences: masked costumes and earplugs mean the singers don't see dancers and dancers don't hear singers. Although music, dance, video projections and costumes vie for the audience's attention, some happy co-incidences occur. A word or syllable from Connaughton's slideshow presentation on tardigrades gets picked up and elongated by the singers, or the 17 performers reach rare confluence as composer Michael Gallen's beautiful musical lines mirror repeated unison movement. Along with Luca Truffarelli's video and Emily Ní Bhroin's costumes, the overall effect is radiant, engaging and often funny. Tardigrade might merely present co-existing elements, but it's much more than the sum of its parts.


Ends September 13

Michael Seaver

Michael Seaver

Michael Seaver, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a dance critic and musician