You could fit what I know about professional dance into a thimble – I’ve been to one ballet in my life and that’s it. I’m sure from that statement you can guess that watching dance, or indeed even knowing anything about all the different types of dance, just isn’t really my thing. But as you well know, us Love Middlesbrough Lasses are always ready to try out something new so yesterday I went along to Erimus to celebrate the reopening of the newly refurbished (and might I add TOTALLY STUNNING!) Middlesbrough Town Hall.
Erm, so what’s Erimus all about then? Created by Southpaw Dance Company, it’s a site specific performance that takes its inspiration from Middlesbrough’s motto, We Shall Be, and will celebrate the future of Middlesbrough Town Hall – exploring what it means to be from Middlesbrough, celebrating our rich cultural identity; it will also highlight the history of the building and end in a large-scale mass movement finale…sounds impressive right?
Turns out it actually was!
From the opening notes of the music, dancers and performers appearing from all sides of the Crypt I had a feeling I was going to be in for quite the spectacle! Flags flowing and whirling to the music, courtroom scenes lit in the most stunning way to provide genuine drama (that the whole audience got involved in, I might have even done a bit of heckling myself!), out to the courtyard for bright red flares and smoke, the harsh beat of the industrial drum thumping in your ears, and then finally to the Main Hall for the most stunning finale that actually made me gasp out loud a couple of times…it truly was epic, spectacular and totally unique. You don’t have to “get” dance or even understand every single aspect of the story – just go along for the ride – it’s definitely worth it!
I took a couple of friends with me so that they could experience it for themselves and to get you more reviews too, cos who needs just one review when you can have three?!
Andy: Ooh it was interesting. I loved the aerial stuff and the final tribute in the Main Hall was great. The flares were awesome…
Ruth: I really enjoyed it. I understood most of the story and would love to know a bit more to understand the context of each part of the story. The outside performance was spectacular, especially the flares and the aerial stuff was amazing…
See? Told you everyone was into it!
There was a real buzz around the building and all of the audience loved it as much as we did if the loud whoops, cheers and applause were anything to go by! The novelty of being able to pick and choose where you go during a performance is something I can definitely get on board with. You could see the looks of curiousity on people’s faces as they were wandering about the building, peering round corners to see if anything was going on, drawn by the coloured lights and sounds coming from each room. The one-off dance pieces that were dotted about literally stopped people in their tracks as they watched to see what was going to happen next, and the dancers moving with the audience just added to the intrigue.
I can honestly say that I’ve never seen or experienced anything like it before. There was energy and passion from all of the performers, from the professionals right through to the community volunteers who just had the most heart-warming looks of complete pride and amazement at the end as everyone clapped and cheered for their performance – it made me go all goosebump-y at the end.
So now that we’ve got you all excited, there’s even more good news. Last night’s performance was only the first one – you have four more opportunities to go along and experience it for yourself!
Saturday 26th May – 2pm
Saturday 26th May – 7.30pm
Sunday 27th May – 2pm
Sunday 27th May – 7.30pm
You can book your FREE ticket via the Town Hall website or you can give the box office a call: 01642 729729.
Honestly, you have to go! I would recommend booking up super quick – last time I checked there was only a limited number of tickets available for each performance so don’t hang around for too long deciding. Get ’em booked!
A little note about photos: as you know we are generally ALL about the photos on the blog but I decided it was essential not to ruin the visual surprises for anyone who was planning to go and see it for themselves. Who wants to read the last few pages of a book when they’ve just started it?! It would be like giving away all the best bits to the audience! We hope you’ll forgive us just this once for our lack of visuals, but don’t worry, we’ll be back soon with more image packed posts for your joyous eyes! And if you check on our Instagram next week you might just see a sneaky peek video or two from the performance…