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Friday, 2 July 2021

REVIEW: Wild Card: Christopher Matthews formed view — my body's an exhibition at the Sadlers Wells

Nothing is completely stationary, in fact, the entire universe is in a constant state of flux with the collision of particles billions of lightyears away affecting every other atom in existence. Here on earth, the power of movement extends itself further as an anthropological encyclopaedia for the past while simultaneously pushing notions about identity forward. Movement can be distilled or all consuming and the job of a dancer is to work with it as their medium. Ambitious in scale and sentiment, Wild Card: Christopher Matthews formed view — my body's an exhibition, by American-born, London-based choreographer and performance artist Christopher Matthews, is a multi sensory, visceral and immersive movement- based experience celebrating this and more! 

The title of the work pays homage to cultural pop icon Janet Jackson’s lyrics “my body’s an exhibition baby” from her 2008 single Feedback and right from the beginning this experience is made to feel unapologetically camp, accessible and provocative. Themes of gender, the the body as object, spectatorship and dance’s historical position and relationship to pop culture, tangles into moments of pure joy and self contemplation through video, site specific installations, visual works and live performance.

It’s curated in a way to invite audiences on a self-guided journey that weaves through all sorts of spaces around the iconic Saddlers Wells theatre. Areas generally reserved for production staff and performers such as change rooms, backstage, rehearsal studios, the labyrinth of corridors and more becomes a privilege to walk through. It is a raw and honest experience positioning the magic associated with a performance in a surreal yet tangible context. There is a feeling of familiarity and delirium in this design. Disco lights and music in the change rooms evoke a dance, dream like fantasy shared by a performer preparing a performance and the audience about to receive it. From the grandeur of the auditorium to all the mundane spaces that play a part in the ritual of a performers life have their soul exposed. 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

REVIEW: Romeo and Juliet at Sadler's Wells

I’m a big theatre fan, which means that I mostly look out for what plays are showing in London. Recently however, I’ve started to notice dance shows as well, and for example the exciting dance companies coming to Sadler’s Wells in the next few months.
The latest show to open at the Peacock Theatre is Romeo and Juliet, directed by Rasta Thomas and choreographed by Adrienne Canterna, creators of the dance sensation Rock the Ballet. What is unique is that they’ve used their innovative style to tell the timeless tale of star crossed lovers. The all-American company invites us to an evening of fun filled with classical (Vivaldi) and contemporary pop tunes that make you transition from tears to laughs.
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