Refugees of the
“Somehow that old Joni Mitchell line, ‘we are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden’ comes to mind as the final section of Tom Dale’s Refugees of the Lost Heart blazes across the stage. Digital projections explode in bursts of white light, dancers erupt in high-energy dashes where their bodies are washed by the dynamic imagery, making them part of a universe beyond our current earth-consuming way of life.
That driven rat-race had dappled the slickly brisk dancers with feverish, flickering frames of stock-market number-crunching and before that, the opening scenes had filled the space with a glorious, primal outpouring of tribal awakenings overlaid with the emerging starscapes of a cosmos that is, like Dale’s dancers, never static.
It’s an epic concept, inspired by (and using) music by Shackleton. And though the projections lapping over the geometric shapes of the set are quite fabulous, what really shines are the dancers in a choreography of palpably fierce physicality.” ★★★★
Mary Brenan, The Herald
“Breathtaking, enveloping visuals and live projection. Six impressive dancers flit and fall between the light, sound and all-encompassing graphics as the world evolves and ruptures around them. Never getting lost in the overwhelming visuals, the performers create between them subtle moments of stillness, slick, fluid movement and fantastic flashes of character in a multifaceted piece. A wonderful watch, and highly recommended.” ★★★★★
Three Weeks, Edinburgh
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“A brilliant piece of dance theatre. Tom Dale is clearly a choreographer who knows how to convey an abstract narrative through movement and dance and the use of digital media complements the dancers, creating an immersive experience that is visually stunning.” ★★★★
“Full-on, fast-paced, exciting contemporary dance, perfectly contained within a visually stunning set, and driven along by Shackleton’s ever-changing score. At turns frenetic, contemplative and joyful.” ★★★★
“Hats off to Tom Dale…. I would have thought that any choreographer working on such an epic scale – it’s the encounter of man with the universe, damn it! – would be doomed to appear woefully inadequate, recklessly vainglorious; probably both. But Refugees of the Lost Heart catches its audience and keeps us, and I think it’s telling that it reminded me less of dance than of film and music. Refugees of the Lost Heart is not a dance performance, it’s a choreographic concept album. ”
Sanjoy Roy, London Dance