Review: Triumphs and other alternatives

by librarykris on April 23, 2015

The lights go up on a mostly bare stage. In the back half of the stage there is a sheet of plastic being used as a curtain. It’s snagged on a table. As it rises a figure becomes visible over a miniature cityscape. The light brightens to reveal not a cityscape but a mess of pots and other materials behind which the main character, the Maker, twitches and flutters. Ross McCormack mixes dance and clowning to bring this mad scientist styled character to life. He’s hardworking, obsessed, and slightly pathetic as he patters around his workshop. Usually fidgety, the moments of smooth movement and stillness provide interesting contrasts and further glimpses into this character. Two of his creations join him on the stage. James Vu Ahn Pham and Emily Adams are locked together to start, their feet on each other’s hips. They move around like acrobats, constantly touching and adjusting. It’s mesmerising to watch. They are up on the table, then back down on the ground, then the Maker is flipping them round like toys. When they eventually part, they are like baby animals. Constantly swaying as if they can’t quite support the weight of their bodies. Their faces are, not exactly vacant, but open to the world around them which they experience neutrally because they haven’t learned how to react to it yet. As they explore the Maker tries to manipulate them to perform certain acts. Hilariously for the audience, this does not work as he plans. The final dance section is strong before the show ends with the Maker showing off his creations again. Sound by Jason Wright, and lighting by Natasha James is excellent.

This is marvelous dance theatre.

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