Homme | Animal - Edinburgh Fringe Festival Review

I'm blind, living in the dark.
Darkness is my education.

Vendetta Mathea’s production opens in complete darkness. As the room begins to brighten she speaks clear and soft into the dim, narrow light, her face skewed by the shadows, her movements only just visible. As she becomes the focus of the space, I feel like I am watching her from afar as she becomes one with the earth in a beautiful Japanese forest. She dances so effortlessly, so in tune with the music that even without any visual effects the atmosphere alone transports you to another world.

As her dancers approach the stage, striking figures in red, she leads them in to breath taking movements as she orchestrates their bodies, willing them to be free and fluid like her. All three await her touch before spinning out into incredible displays as if they are instruments through which to express her emotions. They follow her, calling to each other in wolf like whimpers that develop in to hard, precise shouts and focused martial art like calls. Surya Berthomieux is especially impressive. Her fluid, organic movements and wide eyed expressions mixed with her ability to be poised and precise when necessary truly capture the two subjects of the piece; animal and human.

In Vendatta’s own words, Homme | Animal aims to offer an emotional journey in to our human common grounds hoping that we will be able to relate the production to our lives. Whilst I understand the intention, I think I in fact felt the opposite. The forest noises, the throat singing, the smells brought on from sitting in that hot room all made my imagination run wild. I had them preparing for a battle, holding out through a storm and surviving the fight of their lives. I do not see this as failure however but rather an incredible success on so many levels; this is a truly incredible production which must be seen to be appreciated.

'To know our humanity, we have to stay in touch with our animal selves.'

(c) 2015 Ashley Stein

DATE SEEN 18/08/15
VENUE Greenside at Nicholson Square, The Emerald Theatre
RUN DATES 7th-15th, 17th-22nd, 24th-29th

Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus (dance, contemporary)

Vendetta Mathea
Surya Berthomieux
Link Berthomieux

Choreographer - Vendetta Mathea
Production Manager – Frederic Veyssiere

COMPANY & WEBSITE Vandetta Maethea & Co

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