Unknown and Liminal
Captivating double bill from two former classical ballerinas stepping into the new
We do love a good metaphor in the dance world, and the opening image of Eve Mutso's Unknown is a powerful one. After 13 years as a dancer with Scottish Ballet (and one of their shining stars at that), Mutso left the company in early 2016 to go it alone as both a dancer and choreographer. Unknown finds her standing inside a brightly lit triangle. It's a space that confines her, but in the most interesting way – much like Scottish Ballet did. From inside she peers out, pushes out a tentative toe, then finally steps out into the world.
Mutso's graceful yet powerful movement style has always been compelling, and nothing has changed there – she's a joy to watch. Choreographically, she is an artist still finding her feet, so although you can see and feel the intention behind each move, it's hard to hold it in mind after it's gone. But that too will come.
Like Mutso, Liadain Herriott is classically trained, and danced with a number of international ballet companies before starting to create her own work in 2009. Six years later, her on-stage presence is luminous. The movement language is fascinating – a wonderfully peculiar blend of balletic finery and pop / lock staccato – while Herriott herself is just bewitching, drawing you in as she floats around the space like an ethereal being. Fluttering underneath an old lampshade suspended from above, she exhibits a vulnerability that we connect with, rather than pity, while her music choices become increasingly gorgeous as the piece progresses.
Both Mutso and Herriott have absorbed so much in their respective careers, the outpouring was always going to be interesting. But it takes courage, insight and real artistic integrity to create solos of this calibre, which both these women have in spades.
Dance Base, until 28 Aug, 7.45pm, £12 (£10).