“Jemima Brown excels in a cleverly assembled, four-way collaboration between choreographer, dancer, music and design…Dale’s contemporary choreography absorbs elements from hip-hop, popping and the looseness and bounce of house dance, as if torsos are tossed in the air…Dale and his dancers have a style that’s distinct…”
“…immersive, genre-busting, dazzling, ingenious, thought-provoking – a big thumbs-up to the digital revolution.
Tom Dale is something of a rarity in setting his entire focus on digital interaction, seeking out specialists in digital projection and digitally generated music to collaborate with on equal terms…I can say with conviction that I’ve never seen anything like Surge. At first, it’s all about pattern, as six white hexagons trip the light fantastic around the floor like waltzing debutantes. Then Jemima Brown appears, a buzz-cut androgyne in dazzling white athletic gear, a stripe of warpaint bisecting her face from brow to chin. At one point the floor appears to tilt as well as spin, to the extent that we lose our sense of where the floor is, and the lone human figure’s relation to it.
Sub:Version is a sequence of dance sketches with a more clubby, hypnotic feel…the apparently tireless Brown is joined by three other dancers moving, often in impressive sync, to ambient music from a recent album by WEN.
How good it is that, for once, small regional theatres will have the chance of seeing such leading-edge excellence. All power (and help with the electric bills) to Tom Dale and his crew.” (Jenny Gilbert)
THE ART DESK
“Any performance starring Jemima Brown is off to a great start in my book! This young dancer has such an extraordinary and diverse movement quality: silky smooth and dreamy on the one hand, angular and staccato on the other.
Her solo performance in Surge was all the more excellent due to Barret Hodgson’s astonishing light show…it was the Blackpool Illuminations and Olympic Closing Ceremony shrunk into the capsule size of The Place’s intimate theatre. Optical illusions had Brown surfing on a raft; she teetered on a pile of tiles; and slipped serenely through breaking rectangles of ground as if dancing through a cemetery full of open graves.
Great credit is due to Tom Dale for continuing his fascinating exploration of the potential for placing dance in the centre of new digital and electronic, visual and aural experiences. He’s not the only creative artist intent on integrating these multi-media elements but no-one is doing it with such consistent invention.”
“As walls made of light slice through the space, the audience can’t resist putting their hands into these nonexistent boundaries as though there might be something to grab hold of.
This relationship between the performer and the projected environment is immaculate and by allowing the audience to wander, each individual is free to choose their own viewpoint and take what they want from this enchanting piece.” ★★★★
What’s On Stage
“A supremely powerful dance piece with a single performer, a dark space, a lot of hazy water vapour and some incredible projection mapping. It’s ominous, it’s beautiful and it’s a sublime union of the power of corporeal movement and technology.”
It’s Nice That
“The freshest work presented on the festival’s first day.”
New Scientist coverage of Frequency Festival, Lincoln
“Much more than just contemporary dance, you’ll be encased within a digital cube, and asked to roam around as the solo performer reacts to his changing digital landscape.
There’s a real harmony between the performer’s choreography and the graphics, a highlight being when he rocks, spins and tips a projected grid on the floor, as if he’s balancing on a piece of debris in space. While the instructions for the audience are to roam around the room to get the most out of the performance, it was quite easy to stand transfixed.”
“This piece is enchanting.” ★★★★
“Dance music, art and design clash in a mesmerisng performance piece choreographed by Tom Dale. A beautiful and sublime experience.”
“Tom Dale’s double bill at the Place was dominated by his star, Jemima Brown…in ‘Surge’ Brown is at first a CGI lay figure, jerking robotically to life, swooping into lead boot backbends, changing direction with mercurial ease…Barret Hodgson’s dazzling projections dance with the performer…her every movement draws the eye. You would watch her fold laundry, mix a cocktail, creosote a fence. Brava and – soon please – encore.”(Louise Levene)
THE FINANCIAL TIMES
“Tom Dale Company’s latest double bill at the Place marries dance and technology to dazzling effect…
“Tom Dale’s passion for technology is well known and has increasingly informed his dance creations. In that, he stands with a number of contemporary choreographers. Where Tom Dale stands out, though, is in ensuring that dance is never subservient to the technological devices employed. Surge relies on artist and digital projection specialist Barret Hodgson to create a digital counterpart to its human dancer, the utterly compelling Jemima Brown…Sub:Version is a celebration of dance itself deceptively simple but meticulously assembled and performed by a group of dancers perfectly attuned to Tom Dale’s vision.” (Teresa Guerriro)
“Surge, directed by Tom Dale, features Brown as an extraordinary robotic presence amidst Barret Hodgson’s dazzling digital landscape with sensational new music by ITAL TEK. The immersive aspect of the work celebrates digital sophistication and Brown’s extensive capabilities as a dancer.
Dale’s choreography is demandingly complex and requires stamina and edge together with loose-limbed softness. Whether spinning on the vertical, or horizontal on the ground they work with depth and volume into the space, appearing weightless yet grounded. It’s exciting to see these young dancers literally floating through the heady ambient setting of Sub:Version.”