The Featherstonehaughs give a confusing performance

The all male dance troop, The Featherstonehaughs, gave a confusing performance in Lincoln on Saturday, October 9th.

They took to the stage to perform a new piece of work by Lea Anderson at Lincoln’s Performing Arts Centre.

The Featherstonehaughs consists of six males who use the medium of dance to create a live world of their own. This is the first piece of work since Anderson’s acclaimed The Featherstonehaughs Draw, twelve years ago.

Frames and lighting were used mainly as a focal point so that the audience knew which part of the stage to look at at a specific time. The jump from one part of the stage to the other was quick and at times it was easy to get distracted by the dancers changing costumes at the side of the stage because the lights were on them.


The all male dance troop gave a somewhat confusing performance at the LPAC. Photo: Pau Ros

The dancing itself was sharp and rhytmic, but also confusing. There seemed to be little point to what they were doing and at times it felt like they were throwing their bodies about the stage for no apparent reason. There were moments that were captivating and beautiful, completely engrossing the audience, but on the whole, the performance seemed random.

The costumes used were made by three time Oscar Winner Sandy Powell — yet seemed bland and were nothing spectatular. There were six main colours and each outfit was duplicated so that it could be used by more than one dancer at the same time. This was effective when one dancer would come out of one side of the frame and another would enter at the other side.

However, this was also confusing as it was unclear what the point to this was and whether they were actually meant to represent the same person or not. In some instances it was easy to confuse one dancer with another that was in the same costume. There was no defining characteristics that separated them from one another other than height.

With no dialogue and only the sound of shoes on the stage mixed with a saxophone and guitar, it was hard to follow a stroy line or to see if there even was one. Having read what the performance was about beforehand, it was hard to see how it reflected “the conventions of film, photogarphy and painting into dance”.

Despite this, the audience seemed to enjoy the performance and the dancers left the stage to a strong round of applause, showing that some people understood the point of the performance.

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