The Control Project

Brighton Fringe

26th June – 12th July, 2021

As this was my final work for the Brighton fringe 2021 I was filled to the brim with expectation. The Control Project was a dance that told a story, presented in a science fiction idiom by Project Female. It would be the most insightful of modern arguments about grooming the human populous with the example of a view of an asylum corridor with bars on its doors.

On a very large stage the dancers grouped together as they obeyed announcements over the speaker. The large layout was spectacularly used with a big screen at the back, and two large tarp covered scaffolding boxes on wheels. These wheeled platforms were wheeled everywhere around the stage.

As did our dancers who made movements to music and songs that had the sense of being robotic but then in another scene soulful and husky. It looked like an action game but the dancing slowed the pace as well as speeding it up. All fell to the floor to lie in the dim light; the mighty unison of dance movements was pulled apart by one of them when they looked like waking up from this project into some kind of a revelation. The writing used all things old and new to make its points. It drew from wide ranging representation of a great many cultures (not least the science fiction body).

The props that were used were – lighting, screen footage, orb-lit people, film, all went ahead with the story as the dancing had us glued to experience of this story. The four or five levels worked great as the show grew and shrunk before us. The voice giving them instruction sounded soulless as she ordered them around all be it in a great dance.

They made the process magical of being in this world being brought to life and had a sense of the future about it. The pronouncement of the story really grabbed us with costume changes to suit the stars and the so many well done maneuvers in an ever widening tale. With the cast being so young it helped give it the certain atmosphere of youth being examined. The plot was fulfilled in the dance by the dancers, as it had its memorable moments of style and training.

This was a very rich looking, enriching us and at the end leaving us with a great sense of well-being. No words need be spoken when the story is this clear. The noise was controlled along with their behaviour and their personalities. We felt that this sci-fi world had been in control for a while and it was in that in abundance. The movements looked like reaching up and almost silently called on us to help escape the sterile organisation of females. Confronting and challenging us to think about this situation where the technological evolution had taken a step in a controlling environment.

They wore yellow robes with large barcodes seemed into the hem, they all had half their hair grey and half dark, they moved as one but their point of view was from a very human perspective. All offering; a humanity of unison, of selflessness, with an outspoken conforming into the whole; as if without a soul. The soul kept on appearing in the dancing when they looked stirred and in longing. It had a soft side to it even in the metal scaffolding. It was a theatrical cirque with no acrobatic props but plenty of vision, a vision that stirred and was soon to arrive.

Daniel Donnelly

Posted on July 4, 2021, in 2021. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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