Blue Elephant Theatre
Reviewed – 7th July 2017
“Escape 2 invites the audience on a journey of awareness of what’s going on in the world”
In the intimate setting of the Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell, a lone dancer (Trinity Laban graduate, Natalie Taylor) waits on the stage to begin a powerful and demanding story about the social, political and psychological challenges that refugees face in order to begin a new life on new shores.
Joined by fellow dancers Shiloh Scyner (Laban graduate) and Joanna Puchala (Artistic Director) – the trio perform a series of solo, duet and ensemble pieces, each highlighting an area of significance.
The use of one single prop – the suitcase – speaks volumes during the performance. The dancers use the suitcase within the choreography, at times giving the impression that it may be swept away at any point – symbolising how quickly and easily people can be left with no belongings, no crucial documents and no family or friends.
The piece is advertised as an ‘Aerial dance performance’ and this means that the majority of the time the choreography involves almost acrobatic moves, balancing from long pieces of fabric which are then tied in order to support the dancers. Connected by a single pole in the centre of the stage, the surrounding fabric is replaced with a different colour at a few points – the white portraying an almost angelic, innocent story, whilst the deep purple has darker and more dangerous connotations.
For me, the piece was made extremely powerful by the original score, composed by Stefano Guzzetti (Conservatory G.P Da Palestrina graduate). The contemporary and almost minimalist score was very reminiscent of film composer Yann Tiersen and also Cinematic Orchestra, a heavy use of strings with rich harmonies evoked many conflicting emotions.
About half way through the piece, the audience are shown a very short film (graphic design and video projection by Lidhka Inga) in which a young girl remembers when she fled her country with her family and some of the difficulties they had to face. This brief interlude allowed the audience to absorb the interpretive dance and put it into context, I believe this was a very refreshing choice as there were a few times where the story within the dance wasn’t extremely clear.
Overall, Escape 2 is a work that demands superb control and stamina from the performers and they did not fail to deliver this.
Reviewed by Stephanie Legg
was at The Blue Elephant Theatre