Jack Mottram, 'Sophie Macpherson' (The List, 23/06/2005)
Sophie Macpherson is telling a story about a dancer. It might be the imagined future of an overambitious, under-talented girl ballerina, or the fading memories of an over-the-hill chorus girl, but either way, the focus is on feet. In the newly opened second space at Sorcha Dallas, wood panels are suspended from the ceiling, just above head height, each with a booted leg cut into or applied to their surfaces. There are stumpy little legs with curled up toes, and graceful legs outstretched, all dancing.
Next door, three disembodied legs, made from the interlocking lumps of cast concrete, sit atop a table and the room is dominated by a construction like packing crates ready for transport. It looks imposing, but is hollow. There are hints of narrative and the packing rates are theatrical in two senses; a convincing illusion of the mundane backstage world, whike the concrete legs are like the outcome of a curse.
Titles add further pointers to a half-told folk story – the leggy panels are named ‘Dance, little gentleman! (pictured) like a jolly threat, and a photograph of scrappy sculptures of more legs is called ‘Thieves, murderers & other criminals’, as if the limbs were ghoulish mementoes stripped from the gallows. This whispered hinting is what gives Macpherson’s show its strength, and in paring back the dance to its basic human element, she allows a rich possible tale to unfold.