Artist: Robert Connor, Dance Theatre of Ireland
An iconic song by Michael Jackson encourages us to find ways to be strong, be vibrant and virile, even tough, without resorting to violence. “Beat It” is an anthem speaking against gang violence and a great platform to explore strength and interdependence in movement.
As an intro, the group faces backs to the audience, turning sharply on different counts, striking a menacing shape. The next bars set up the rhythmic nature of the scene, a stance of guarded readiness, arms striking the beat, fingers snapping on the off beats, followed by smooth steps forward, the group spreads out.
The iconic “Beat It” moves are next; strong punches into the air, push-pull of the arms with side-shifting weight, quick turns and a strong punch, body wave with circling arms. First in half time, to map the neuro-muscular pathways, then at exhilarating full tempo.
The phrase is demanding, the concentration to detail is tiring, so we leave this to marinate for another time. We revisit their favourite, “Whip Whip Nae Nae” and they do not tire of this.