Resolution Review – A unique opportunity for emerging dance writers

Elementz. Photo by Sam Golle

The 29th edition of Resolution at The Place has just ended and I am so glad I had been part of the team reviewing works from some of the most promising choreographers in the UK.

Featuring 81 companies across 27 nights, Resolution is the UK’s biggest dance festival for emerging artists, and every year, a group of non-professional dance writers, mentored by professional critics, is given the opportunity to watch and review all the shows.

Their critical response is then published on The Place’s blog, offering the audience a special insight into the works and a valuable feedback to the artists.

The Resolution Review project is a great chance for emerging dance writers to grow their own critical voice and learn from professionals, and at the same time, an excellent way to discover the next generation of dance makers.

Don’t forget that Resolution festival has always been an extremely important platform over the years, launching big names like Wayne MacGregor, Hofesh Shechter, Kate Prince, Luca Silvestrini and more recently Tony Adigun, James Cousins and Sarah Blanc.

This year, I had the privilege of being mentored by Siobhan Murphy, freelance writer and reviewer, and Graham Watts, dance writer and critic contributing for Dancing Times, Dance Europe, and many other publications.

The inspiring experience of discussing with them about dance and listening to their personal journey made me realise how writing about dance is a continuous learning process.

I particularly appreciated how they managed not to influence my opinion about the show while sharing helpful writing tips with me. And after our reviews were published, it was fascinating to see how our point of view could surprisingly differ sometimes.

Boadicea Dance Company. Photo by Fiona Whyte
Boadicea Dance Company. Photo by Fiona Whyte
Malcom Sutherland. Photo Danilo Moroni
Malcom Sutherland. Photo Danilo Moroni

Every evening featured a triple-bill from three different companies presenting works drawing from a variety of styles, like contemporary dance, hip-hop, or physical theatre. Usually just a little introduction was given in the programme, so every show was a real surprise!

For most choreographers, Resolution is the first step into the big stage. You would expect some sort of inexperience from them, but what I actually saw was an abundance of talents.

The impressive quality and intensity of some works was close to a highly professional standard, particularly in the meticulous composition of the piece and dancers’ excellent technique.

Bold ideas, thought-provoking themes and unexpected twists – many of the performances have dealt with political and social issues with a maturity that can only promise good things to come.

Check out our reviews here and on The Place’s blog