Thursday, 10 January 2013
An unexpected, dreamlike dance that has promise among the confusion
By Gillian SpickernelIJasmin Vardimon’s latest dance creation Freedom explores the concept of freedom, ties and restrictions and fi nds that ‘whenever we think of freedom, it is defined by what it is not. It is left to us to imagine the unattainable,’ Vardimon says.
When the curtain opens, we’re in a forest or jungle. The stage, cleverly but dimly lit, has long tree branches cascading on to the floor from two cross-shaped rotating axles above. Centre stage is a rocky hill covered in camouflage leaves. Gradually the echoing sound of birdsong fills the air and small lights begin to fly across the trees, representing the elusive birds.
A woman enters and begins to climb the rock, reaching its peak before standing up, turning to face the audience then slowly subsiding as the rock crumbles to the ground. The stage then bursts into life with powerful rock music as six dancers – three men and three women – run swiftly around, leap and hurl themselves across the floor, in movements so repetitive and hypnotic that I was reminded of the effect of waves endlessly crashing on to the seashore.
This forest forms the backdrop for the whole piece and suggests the freedom of the title – freedom from social constraints where you can run free and be yourself. But with freedom comes fear, and there’s menace in this forest.
A naked girl lies down to sleep, when suddenly a large shadow looking like a pterodactyl swoops overhead. We see its horrible outline, hear its fearsome shriek as her friends try to pull her away from danger, but they too must escape the creature. It’s like being on set in an Indiana Jones film – and the (mainly young) audience is thrilled. Such highly visual images and effects stick in the mind. There is a surfboard sequence where a man turns his girl into a surfboard, carrying her vertically and inert just like a piece of wood, before surfing the waves. A woman is carried from side to side, undulating her arms and hands just like those ghostly white jellyfi sh that expand and propel themselves underwater.
Later, Vardimon introduces an unexpected cabaret sequence into this dreamlike environment when a woman lights a cigarette only to keep stubbing it out on balloons that her friend is trying to blow up.
The final tableau is a repetition of the opening sequence, except this time the dancer who climbs the rock jumps off it into oblivion. Whether she succeeded in finding her freedom is up to the audience to decide.
Tours from 25 February to 18 May (Canterbury, Huddersfi eld, Ipswich, Nottingham, Oxford, Poole, Shrewsbury, Watford and Whitley Bay): 01233-628545, www.jasminvardimon.com
Daily tip from the lady archive
"It is not always she who appears most kindly in her interest who is the safe sharer of sacred (maybe sorrowful) secrets! Charming manners do not always connote sincerity of heart!”The Lady. In Confidence. 4th April, 1918
PRIVATE HOUSE in Andover/Winchester area requires personable, experienced, professional cook with own transport (live-out). Must be calm, adaptable, energetic, happy to use seasonal produce from garden and able to provide healthy, imaginative dishes. In addition to producing meals for owners, required to provide lunch for estate staff during week. Usual hours 0800-1600, Monday-Friday, but flexibility required for w/e and evening work. Salary negotiable. Contact: Apply Box 15495Apply now
Q: The Queen has received a £5m boost in the funds she receives from the taxpayer to carry out her official duties. Do you approve?
Yes - the Queen does a great job and is well worth it - 59.5%
No - the UK economy is struggling and this is unfair - 40.5%