BWW Review: MEDUSA, Sadler's Wells Theatre
Celebrating 20 years of performance excellence, Sadler's Wells Associate Artist Jasmin Vardimon's incredibly talented company present another unforgettable, highly entertaining masterpiece.
Arguably one of the most forward-thinking and innovative choreographers working right now, Vardimon has selected the best of the best to make up her troupe. And she has pushed them to their limits; we watch as they twist, contort, fall, climb, and manipulate their bodies to create movement that is thrilling, joyful and harrowing to watch.
However, what sets this show apart from any other dance piece is the company's impressive ability of storytelling. With the title Medusa you could make a solid guest as to what the 80-minutes will be about. And to a certain degree, you'd be correct. Yet the company take a different approach to the majority who have told the tale before.
Focusing on feminine identity, sexuality and power, they investigate the consciousness of being - the idea that as humans we exist as objects, for the benefit of others' perusal. They take the title character and de-mystify her; for Medusa wasn't always the monster we associate her to be.
Deconstructing the history and reflecting it on today's contemporary, we are faced with a stark reminder of the demising ecology, and thrown into a world of destruction, horror and pain. Plastic is littered everywhere and used in innovative ways to present the effects of climate change.
There's a meticulous attention to detail from Vardimon, and a real precision in ensuring that the entire stage is active. Even though the centre focus is filled with electric choreography, the background has the same care placed upon it, perfectly completing the dramaturgical jigsaw.
Throughout, the entire company shine and it's a wonderful experience to sit through. Celebrating 20 years of creativity, long may it continue.
Photo credit: Tristram Kenton