Review: The Happiness Project, Tramway


Transparency:Photo by Chris Nash

Children, if you believe those pop science reports, laugh at least one hundred times a day- adults, less so. Didy Veldman’s piece with Umanoove attempts to explore where and how we lost our joyful spontaneity, and how easy it is to manufacture happiness.

There is a mood board made out of transparent fabric, a  glass which is literally half full, a marriage which doesn’t last, and the playground tactics of ignoring and ostracising one member of the group. Turning to consumerism may not be the viable option, as one person’s Louis Vuitton is another person’s old tat.

happiness-d veldman.jpg

‘These aren’t just strawberries…’ Photo: Chris Nash

The four dancers  (Madeline Johnson, Dane Hurst, Estela Merlos and Mathieu Geffre) move intuitively and fluidly with and without each other.  There is witty interplay with  musician Alexander Balanescu whose violin playing is gorgeous, running from elegiac and stately to frenetic klezmer -like euphoria.

The performance may run out steam and into a rather twee toe -curling denouement, but there are many moments of pleasure and invention to be found here.

(Lorna Irvine)

Part of Dance International Glasgow


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