On deciding to watch Maria Von Stockart’s Glacier I had certain preconceptions. I expected some engaging dance performance about global warming, with beautiful costumes, lighting and some serious food for thought. Instead the reality couldn’t be much farther from the truth. What the audience were presented with on Tuesday night was a no frills production with grotesque undertones and not a sparkly costume in sight.
The beauty of Glacier is not materialistic excess, but the pure simplicity of the message it seeks to give its audiences - the disturbing reality that global warming is ruining our planet and man will one day be left picking up the pieces. Despite the show itself not being, how can I put it?, easy on the eyes, it really is thought provoking. I left the show wondering what on earth I had just witnessed and as the night went on I realised just how clever it had been, every movement and scene had intricate connotations of our ignorance towards global warming.
The performance was set among a backdrop of polystyrene icebergs, with occasional voiced intervals in order to guide the audience. The bare-footed dancers danced with sections of the polystyrene icebergs fragmenting them to represent the effect that global warming has on the Polar Regions.
The fluid movements of the dancers and lighting conveyed the movement of fragmented ice when it melts into the sea. Despite some of the scenes becoming slightly repetitive in nature, it still had a lot more to give.
Questions such as: "How can we ignore issues of environmental change?" and "How can we justify telling the Third World not to develop as we have done?" all voiced in soliloquy, provided an interesting twist on a very current issue. For me the eye-opener came as a male dancer performed a solo with household rubbish. On closer inspection it became clear that he wasn’t just dancing with props, but instead demonstrating the struggle that our planets animals go through, as a result of our inability to recycle.
As if that wasn’t enough to leave us pondering, Glacier just kept on going, as the team of dancers poured oil all over themselves and onto a sea of plastic sheeting. Their callous movements represented the struggling of birds after oil spills into the ocean. All in all the performance allowed the audience to be transported into a porous white world, where on first observations all is not what it seems.
Glacier was performed at the Lakeside Arts Centre on Tuesday 5th February 2008