Up & Over It: Back on our Feet
Punky and fresh take on Irish dance
This article is from 2012.
What do you do after life as a lead Riverdancer? If you’re Up & Over It duo, Suzanne Cleary and Peter Harding, the answer is: soup-up the punky-pop beats, get yourselves some outrageous neon costumes, and invoke Simon Cowell’s sceptical eyebrow on Britain’s Got Talent with your Irish hand-dancing.
Their alternative look at an Irish institution isn’t laugh-a-minute, nor is it the cuddly Celtic toe-tapping of the Michael Flatley years – the ‘velvet-clad diddly-iddleness’ as they put it. Rather the show has an urban renegade, graffiti feel to it, occasionally a little too self-conscious in its brash coolness.
In their best moments the couple find an inspired framing device to the hand-dancing with a wordless kitchen argument, and deliver a take on the invention of Irish dancing that is both scandalous and silly. More serious passages of choreography pair the dance with an electro-retro vibe, exploring its laser-straight lines and sharp angles.
What comes across most is their love for what they do and this show is no send-up, rather a re-imagining of a tradition for a completely fresh audience.
Assembly George Square, 623 3030, until 26 Aug (not 21), 6.05pm, £10.50–£12.50.