My last few posts here have been around Scene + Heard Festival currently in its final week in Smock Alley theater. I was fortunate enough to be invited to see one of the works tonight – Running Blind.
When I first heard about Running Blind I remembered being a child – the way I would sometimes close my eyes and try to find my ways around. I wanted to understand what it would be like to rely on your other senses, when sight’s not be available. I suppose a lot of people do that as kids, even if it is just a game. We don’t do that when we grow up – it is too scary. Try and you’re going to understand how insecure you are and how much you are missing your comfort zone. For some people it is everyday reality though. This is the reason this work Laura is doing felt so important.
After doing a bit of a research I really had my expectations high. Here is what the official press release said:
“A visceral dialogue of dance, sound and sight. An immersion into a tactile, imagined and experienced presence awaits.
…daring exploration of the role of the senses, inviting you to find fresh vision and become a part of this investigative journey into metaphorical and physical blindness.”
Sounds quite impressive, so what’s in store?
It delivers exactly what it promises. From the very first steps that you take into the Smock Allies Boy’s School you are fully experiencing what Laura is trying to explore in her choreography. By the time you get to your seat you are already on a journey. The trick here – don’t cheat. You’ll understand when you go and see this, I promise it is worth it. This is one of not that many productions (that I have seen and were staged) in Boy’s School that actually used this unique space so cleverly. My only suggestion to you as an audience member – try and get a front row seat.
When it comes to actual performance, Laura’s movements were mesmerizing and flawless making you part of something special and intimate – the world you don’t explore or see every day. You are there with Laura when she looses the balance and searches for it clinging to other senses, searching for sounds. Together with her you feel the strength and more confident steps, emotions, light and darkness, momentous joy and realization of reality.
Running Blind is beautiful in every way. It’s emotional and very, very real. The production (although still in progress) is indeed very immersive thanks to many cleverly thought out details. It uses the raw beauty of the set and live sounds to create the right atmosphere to carry you through what is a very unique experience.
As a dancer Laura is magnificent to watch. I have to complement the entire crew though – lights, sound, production – it all came together so well. I would love to see this piece finished and I think it deserves attention of a wider audience.