John Scott’s ‘Everything Now’ brings great anticipation with it. On entering the theatre, we feel connected to the piece already, if not vulnerable to the proximity between the audience and a stage strewn with newspapers, with only a simple desk and chair commanding the space. Everything Now promises to explore the relationship between people and the media, and the great influence the media has on us. What is also mentioned, but perhaps not as widely known or expected to the degree that it is present in the piece, is the concept of a ‘Happening’, which was a force in the arts world during the 1960s. A Happening was a show displaying multi-disciplinary art and could occur anywhere, often with a limited audience and usually dependant on their participation. Everything Now certainly brings the idea of the happening back to life, using dialogue, dance, acting and engaging with the audience to display the aggressive effect the media can have on people. Scott is noted for his inclusion of a diverse cast in his pieces, and this is no different. Ethnically diverse and a variety of ages, this only adds to the realism of the piece. Everything Now hides nothing, and turns the world on its head for its running time. It is an in your face piece which forces you to consider the true influence of western society on the everyday person. Repetitive chants and dialogue is a consistent feature in the piece, as well as the inclusion of ipads and interacting with the newspapers, eating them as they are reading from them and regurgitating it all, a display of the zombie effect the media has on its audience. Everything Now makes a point of Sharp Specific movement and speech, such as counting repetitively, which again produces the eery feeling of the media influencing our every thought. Despite this uniformity, we also see breaks of beautiful dancing by the four male dancers,Kevin Coquelard, Maurice Ivy, Sebastiao Mpembele Kamalandua and Ryan O’Neil, allowing their own stories to shine through, giving a glimpse of their personalities through solos, trios and duets. Everything now makes us gaze at each performer and makes us ask the question, what is their story? And what were they before being swallowed up by the media obsessed world. One dancer hurls himself against a table repetitively. Is this lunacy, or is it merely what society has done to us all? For a thought provoking evening of entertainment by Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Everything Now hits the spot and deserves every success.
Holly Lloyd – Arts & Events