Promises of Happiness - Dance ☆☆☆☆4

Showing from - Friday, May 15, 2015 through till Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Place - London

Rachel Elderkin | Friday, May 15, 2015

Promises of Happiness reviewed by Rachel Elderkin on Friday, May 15, 2015 for Downstage CentreUplifting and charming: Robert Clark's 'Promises of Happiness' (Photo by Bronwen Sharp)

A performance that promises to bring you happiness – it sounds an almost unachievable task.

 

However that’s exactly what Robert Clark and his company set out to do in their latest work, Promises of Happiness.  
Promises of Happiness is a performance that sincerely desires to give something to its It offers a reminder to give to each other and to focus on the positives in lifeaudience and, in doing so, the company create an experience that is uplifting and genuine. From the beginning we are welcomed by the dancers, each of us handed an intriguing gold envelope – a self-proclaimed promise of happiness – as we arrive. This informal interaction between performer and audience continues, with anecdotes of personal happy memories and charming gestures of goodwill woven into the heart of this piece.

 

Uplifting

It’s a tactic that works. The company’s desire to make their audience happier is infectious and before long we are as equally willing to aid them in their quest. The ease with which this relationship builds is a credit to the way Clark has managed to encapsulate the experience of happiness into an hour long performance. From its hedonistic highs to moments of calm positivity, Clark, with the help of an irresistibly uplifting soundtrack, manages to create scenarios in which his audience really experience these emotions.


Robert Clark Promises of Happiness The PlaceIt’s difficult not to feel joy when listening to pre-recorded phone calls to loved ones or watching a quartet of gold hot-pant clad performers dance unashamedly before you – and, most importantly, for you. Through a mix of laughter and reflection, and the feeling that both audience and performers are sharing in this experience together, Promises of Happiness, quite simply, makes you feel happy. It offers a reminder to give to each other and to focus on the positives in life and, in this way, really tries to make the experience live beyond the performance.


Promising to make an entire audience happier is quite a challenge to set oneself, but the natural sincerity of the performance enables Clark and his company to achieve it. Even if just for a few moments, Promises of Happiness can make you feel the happiness it pertains to, but I defy you not to take that happiness with you.

Read Rachel's &A interview with Robert Clark here.


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Production Information


Theatre: The Place

Showing Until: Saturday, May 16, 2015

Production Company: Dance East / The Place

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