Swimming With My Mother a tender mother and son dance duet
2011 Edinburgh festival show from Ireland' CoisCéim Dance Theatre
This article is from 2011.
David Bolger, director of Ireland’s double Fringe First-winning company CoisCéim (Gaelic for footstep) Dance Theatre, is back with a show that promises to resonate with tender, loving and far from soggy memories. Bolger grew up by Dublin Bay: ‘I was taught to swim by my mother, Madge, before I could walk. I wanted to explore the idea of the gift she’d given me, and our deep bond both in and out of the water.’
Bolger also longed to dance with his mum onstage. Although Madge has attended dance workshops for older people, a bout of stage fright aged three put her off a professional career. ‘And here she is 74 years later performing again,’ he says. ‘It shows that one should never say never in life.’
Mother and son shaped the work together in a delicate ebb and flow of mutual listening and learning. Bolger describes the show as ‘a natural, unforced, documentary piece that uses our shared swimming life as a metaphor of life itself.’ The soundtrack blends interviews with the two performers with the wash of the sea, plus some smooth vocals by Madge-favourite Nat King Cole. Creating it has been liberating for Bolger, who adds, ‘I think it strikes a chord with people about their own relationship with their parents.’
Dance Base, 225 5525, 6–21 Aug, (not 8, 15), times vary, £7. Preview 5 Aug, 3pm, £5.