BIAF 19: To Da Bone

Photo: (La) Horde

To Da Bone is aptly named, because it cuts to the bone. The visuals and the heart projected on stage as 'jumpstyle', an eye-popping form of dance performed by the ten Europeans and one Canadian of (la) Horde, are a light, pattern and sound fantastic, an organised and eloquent exhibition of natural physique and naturally inspired technique.

Its message lies within - spontaneity and structure unified, a challenge to stability and consistency mattering ahead of everything else. It is not that they aren't important. They are. But they are in danger of regressing into complacency and stagnancy if a believer becomes too entrenched in his or her ways. That's why what (La) Horde, a (yes) horde of ten males and one female, perform is important. Theirs is a collective keen on diversification, a group who originated and developed with common history and hilarity that you can only find in books, television, movies and personalities. Nature and nurture.

To Da Bone, interestingly, reflects and counters the love and monster at the core of Doctor Who's Love And Monsters - absorbing the power of genuine bonding for the sake of machinic order can be heartless, soulless and futile. There's no leader in this jumpstyle. No 'with me or against me' vibe. No damaging aggression. Just motivation and relaxation sprung from admirable, inspiring perspiration and rhythm.

To watch To Da Bone is to be reminded, joyfully, how it is possible to take art, work and life a little too seriously sometimes. One rediscovers the value of switching off, taking a break and allowing the power and magic of dance to sweep over them, a dance that injects us with infectious belief. Pieces like (La) Horde's remind us that there is always hope, and in that sense the whole work is a graceful, unforgettable epiphany.

Simon Fallaha

To Da Bone ran at The Grand Opera House, Belfast, from October 25 to 26 as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival 2019.