I feel a bit like Dr Jekyll at the moment. My cultural side, which appreciates art and symbolism, recalls a spectacle of overwhelming emotions amidst a collection of heart-wrenching stories.
But then my cynical ‘Hyde’ ego shines through, and all I recount is a couple of actors jumping around aimlessly as if possessed by demonic spirits.
Inspired by photographs capturing a man falling from the World Trade Center, the show explored the events surrounding 9/11 through four different pieces.
‘Embers’ portrayed a mother’s anguish as she searched for her child among the ruins. Credit to Hayley Dixon, whose strong performance made it moving to watch.
She couldn’t redeem ‘Lost’ though. As a video showing the same mother expressing grief against the backdrop of a boundless sky, it seemed overly repetitive and didn’t provoke the same emotional response as seeing such sentiment expressed live.
‘S/HE’ followed the trauma of a couple who lose one another during the tragic event. At least, I think it did; the difficulty in trying to interpret what at times appeared to be nothing more than sporadic madness put me off slightly. Personally, I found the affected spouse recalling her tale in the preceding audio piece ‘Absence of Options’ more intriguing than the dance itself.
My faith in contemporary art was revived, however, by Tom Pritchard’s utterly captivating performance in ‘Falling Man’. While his narration added insight to the meanings behind the piece, it was the raw potency with which he delivered it that proved so enticing. Easily the night’s best piece.
Overall, hit and miss. If you’re the arty type, then you’ll love it. If not, then you’ll probably feel a bit cynical throughout. Yet whatever your artistic disposition, the one-man tour-de-force that is the final piece will certainly blow you away.