Document 8, a forward-thinking film and performance festival took place this week at the CCA in Glasgow. My interest lay in the story of Iranian dancers, who were exiled for their passion, dance treated as a crime.
This real-life Footloose story affected me deeply, even imagining dance and the arts being illegal leaves me feeling empty and restricted. After seeing the documentary film, I really appreciated how dance can be free and uplifting, bringing people together in a community, much more than a technique or performance art.
The performance by Maryhill Integration Network was colourful, energetic and to the point. I struggled to forgive the poor attempts at Highland dancing until the younger members of the cast began their freestyle section, showing individual character, expression and freedom. The cast communicated the highs and lows of living in their home nations and their journeys since living in Glasgow. It is hard to fault this group, as technical performers they may be lacking in experience but they are so much more than performers. These are real people, telling a story through movement which we can all relate to. The integration network brings these people together and gives them a common goal where their creativity can blossom.
Language barriers are never an issue when conversing through movement. This performance shed light on the differing cultures living in the city of Glasgow, beautiful interactions, free choreography and engaging personalities. A thoroughly enjoyable evening.