Up and Over It! (4 stars)

This article is from 2009

Up and Over It!

Irish dance finds a new direction

Just as shows such as Riverdance sought to release Irish dancing from the steely grip of the competitive circuit, this entertaining hour seeks to liberate the form yet further.

Dancers Suzanne Cleary and Peter Harding have toured the world, won every championship imaginable and spent their entire lives to date wrapped up in Irish dance. So when they appear on stage with their mouths gagged and arms bound by a straight jacket, you get the feeling they’ve got something to say about it.

Ripping off the green velvet skirt and smart black trousers, Cleary and Harding launch into something altogether new. Proving Bill Whelan isn’t the only one who can provide a background to Irish dance, they work their way through hard and soft shoe (or in this case, no shoe) routines to everything from electro pop to Lady Gaga and gentle piano.

Both Cleary and Harding are phenomenal dancers, and masters of rhythm – as demonstrated by a witty domestic argument, where each retort is made by hand-slapping a tune onto a wooden table, rather than speaking. The video footage which laces the show together, works with varying degrees of success, and this four star rating is in spite of, rather than because of it.

C Chambers Street, 0845 260 1234, until 31 Aug, 5.50pm, £9.50–£11.50 (£6.50–£10.50).

Up and Over It! An Irish Dance Spectacular

  • 4 stars

Acclaimed Irish dancers Suzanne Cleary and Peter Harding blow the brains out of the Irish dance show genre with a sensational multimedia extravaganza for the post-pop generation. www.upandoverit.com