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Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay, Thurs 23 Nov

Ever imagined that you could spectate someone’s inner self enclosed in captivity? Under Glass promises to lift characters out of the hustle and bustle of their daily life and frames their times of solitude in glass jars or boxes. At the Wales Millennium Centre from Wed 22-Sat 25 Nov, the animated presentation delves into how individuals strive for living within their limits.

Under Glass is anything but a typical dance show. In the initially unlit exhibition hall, soul-stirring music burst out from the background and kicked off the show. Spotlights brought the crowd’s attention to transparent containers of various shapes and sizes, one by one. Characters began articulating their stories with powerful choreography.

The performers represented diverse groups of people in the society – a young girl, an office worker, an elegant lady, a housewife on the phone, a woman lying on the grass, another sitting in a jar and a couple in bed. They all shared an unfathomable sense of anxiety, sometimes fear, in their movements. It was as if they felt they wanted more in life, but were unsure about it.

As I watch the show, I can’t help but think that the same is happening with many of us. When we are alone, we sometimes would imagine achieving things that seem too far in reality. Many of us only dare to dream but are too afraid to step out of our comfort zone. This is what makes Under Glass remarkable – its audience gets to reflect on their internal minds via bold dance moves.

The dancers’ expressions, the lightlessness and the rhythmic ‘beep’ sounds that you would hear in a medical laboratory together built up a mysterious vibe around the hall. There was nothing scary about this performance, exactly, but it haunted me a little. Perhaps this is how you feel when you explore your true self: daunting but intriguing.

If you’ve missed the show in Cardiff, stay tuned with producers Clod Ensemble for the next destination of this captivating performance.

words JO LEE

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