Review: Plan B for Utopia

Review: Plan B for Utopia

Plan B for Utopia

Joan Cleville Dance

Artistic Director: Joan Cleville

Dancers: John Kendall and Solene Weinachter

Costume: Matthius Strahm

7th June 2017

The Patrick Centre – Birmingham Hippodrome

Review by: Tamar Dixon – Unique Tay 

Colourful, vibrant and a blast full of energy, Joan Clevillé Dance takes us on a journey to Plan B for Utopia, exploring different aspects of our lifestyles.

You have a plan, and then you don’t. You have a dream, and then you wake up. You fall in love, and then your heart gets broken. The question is: do you pick up the pieces and try again?’

I walked into the auditorium ready to watch Plan B, buzzing with excitement because I don’t always get to watch a mix of dance & theatre performances. I thought oh this’ll be interesting, unique and innovative… Believe me it wasn’t your traditional start to opening a performance. You know the ‘sit-down-silently-phones-off-and patiently wait for the curtains to raise’. lol no. Instead the two performers John Kendall and Solene Weinachter were playing with toy bricks, placing them on top of each other. What I found pleasant was the immediate interaction and eye contact with the audience. We were offered the opportunity to join in playing with the toy bricks. Such an unusual start but I liked it.

Later I acknowledged the strong theatrical approach to the narrative and choreography of Plan B. As Kendall and Weinachter politely asked the audience ‘How can we change the world?’ honestly I sat there gazed soaking in allllll of the possibilities and the different routes I could take to make this world a better place. My short day dream broke as Kendall and Weinachter answered their question by suddenly dancing around, as though they were at a nightclub, drunk. The use of the disco ball, the hard beat of the soundtrack, their carefree expressions, pumping their fist in the air, left right and centre and the fact that they dancing with absolutely NO rhythm was a great start to discovering how they would change the world….This whole scene strangely gave me some inspiring ideas for my own future choreography.

Throughout the majority of Plan B it consisted of storytelling, theatrical moments and vocals from Weinachter. Although it would of been nice to include more Contemporary dance, I personally found it hard to interpret Plan B particularly from the forest scene and after. However the setting was extraordinary with a range of props, e.g. large cardboard box, disco ball, hanger, birthday cake, a toy dinosaur and more. The costume design by Matthias Strahm perfectly fit the concept of Plan B. It was quite simple, uniformed and well…both dancers wore exactly the same.


Joan Clevillé Dance is based in Dundee, Scotland. Joan combined his dance training with his studies in humanities, where he graduated from the University Pompeu Fabra. With 14 years experience in dance, teaching and rehearsal directing, Clevillé work has generated interest across Europe such as Italy, Poland and including Japan. Joan Clevillé Dance consists of amateur dramatics, storytelling, dance and theatre. Clevillé began his dance training from age 16. He developed a passion for dance theatre due to working with theatrical choreographers over his years in training.

Overall the comical theatrical approach certainly provided me with fresh ideas. I had the privilege to stay for the post-show talk where the artistic director Joan Clevillé shared his dance background and the journey of his established dance company, Joan Clevillé Dance. 

Good question!

What I truly admired about Clevillé, is his attempt to discover his own contributions to society and implement this throughout Plan B for Utopia. His inspiration shines through when we (the audience) was asked

“How can we change the world?”

Unique Tay


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