All Genius All Idiot: Svalbard

All Genius All Idiot

Svalbard

Edinburgh 2017

Go and see if:  surrealism with high skill and (mostly considered) aesthetic

Stay away if: you have any issues with gender and sexuality represented outside of the norm.

Overall Impression: A troupe that are intent on bringing you into their dystopian, gender bending  acid trip. Incredible high skill with the performance intent, pregnant with possibilities. At first it seems that there are layered tension and subtextual interactions but later gives the impression that this was just an experiment of the ego, given for the wildest possibilities but without any considerations of why and how.

Nitty Gritty Notes:A Trash world setting, clothing fixed with gaffer tape and characters that love the dirty realism of hedonism. It’s begins with underlying tones of queer culture which progress into more overt homosexual movements. It feels like a show of two halves, the first as I have described started with what felt like carefully considered sequences of characterised skill, framed by surreal tableaux all woven together with emotionally and politically charged characterisations then it descended into a party scene where the characters lost their complexity and gave way to cabaret characters of themselves.

Dance Dialogue:A first seemingly uncontrollable, fluid movement spurned out of nowhere, precisely delivered to give us the best illusion of unpredictable hedonism. Although this is not consistent through-out the piece as the movement later turns to mimic that of a side show quality.

Theatre Dialogue: I am unconvininced to whether I have layered upon a conceptual narrative to glued this piece together or if anything is genuinely a conscious artistic choice.  Even if so many of the creative choices are subconscious to the groups visual aesthetics the concepts that it raises deal with non traditional gender types and how they are viewed within society – as trash as hedonistic. The show doesn’t yet feel finished, it show great potential for as there are true gems and a barrage of visuals, both performative, costume and set. With live music, looped and created by the cast as they work, fully enriching this piece but then it seemed to dissolve into stereotyped shock tactics.

Kinaesthetic Empathy:Through the creation of these hedonistic characters that seemed out of control, unruly and unable to even stand up it left the audience gasping at the integrated flips, drops and balances on the Chinese Pole, cored lisse and handstand blocks. The contrast they provided in expectation and delivery through movement made some of the possible seem impossible with these characters. All of this was fully supported by the masterful use of loops, amplification, multi-instruments and voice. The multiple false endings made the show appear more unprofessional and unconsidered and lost me with the empathy after the first ‘ending’ as started me wondering if this show was a display of ego rather than artistry.

Representation of skill: Incredibly high and precisely executed.

Application of skill: With more thought this could be genius.

Socio-Political Ponders: What is male gender? What other sexual and engendered ways can males be portrayed?How are alternate sexualities portray in society?How does this make the particular group feel? Small is not necessarily the most manipulated. Large does not have to be strong. Group power dynamics. Friendship within alternative communities.Screen Shot 2017-08-14 at 00.19.18

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