01
Jul
11

Deluge

Because I can’t possibly get to everything, I have a little team of reviewers heading off to see all sorts of exciting, interesting productions. They are an enormous help, both to XS and to briztix.com (where you can read Alys Gwillim’s review of Deluge, Josh Matthew’s review of Gaijin and Sharon Grimley’s review of Paul Capsis, among others). Here is Red Moon Rising’s Deluge

Reviewed by Caity Sanderson

I was lucky enough to see this newly developed performance at Metro Arts on Tuesday night.

A deluge can refer to a downpour, a flood. That’s exactly what I felt throughout it- a surge of emotions portrayed beautifully through song and dance. Director, Jeremy Neideck, created a simple but exquisite performance using Korean performers as well as Australians. Together they created a piece so moving, it took my breath away.

The connection and deep relationship both Koreans and Australians have with water was the starting point for the production. This gave the performance a really raw edge to it, and the fact that only two weeks was allowed for rehearsal made it truly remarkable to watch. I loved the way the actors connected with each other, and let us get a glimpse at the emotion behind their faces, behind the blue paint- I wanted to know exactly what they were thinking.

I suppose this is where it was a bit disjointed for me, personally. I would have appreciated a bit more help in understanding the plot. Maybe it didn’t have a particular narrative? Well, at least it made me think! Another thing that let the performance down a bit were the musicians who stood awkwardly to the side of the stage. They took the focus away from the stunning costumes that our actors wore, and left it feeling a little too casual.

On the other hand, the musicians really added another layer to the performance, the raw, clean feeling that Deluge is all about. They were creative with their instruments, and the simplicity of tapping, humming and scratching complemented the actors perfectly. The two singers, one Korean, and the other Australian were the absolute highlight. When they sang together at the climax of the performance, it sent shivers down my spine, and I could tell I wasn’t the only one!

It is a rare occasion that I get so completely engrossed in a performance with no dialogue what so ever. The music, the dance and the pure emotion in their bodies had a great balance; they each gave the performance energy, without overpowering it. This was supported with the props- the bell, the bucket. So simple, so beautiful…

Looking out of the window in the Whitlam Studio, the sleeping city was a stark contrast to the almost hysterical feeling that surrounded Deluge.

The movement was brought together by powerful technique. In some places the timing was off, but that comes with time, I suppose; a fortnight isn’t long to get timing impeccable. I did enjoy the ungainliness of the dances. It reminded me that I wasn’t at a dance concert, but part of an evolving story.

The audience felt part of the story, as we were in such a confined space, and the performers came so close I could hear their breathing! It gave us the chance to see the emotion in their eyes, especially when the performance was hitting its peak. We saw the struggle that is hard to understand otherwise. It grabbed my attention and left me thinking for hours afterwards.

Overall, Deluge was a stunning performance that certainly made me think. I loved the fact that it was so raw, like we were seeing the creative process developing in the director’s mind. The musicians didn’t really seem to be part of the story, however, I loved how our two singers complimented each other’s voices- it was beautiful. They were so different, yet so connected during the final song, which was a brilliant way to end the performance. It left us wanting more, more!

The lighting, the instruments, the actors and the musicians successfully brought together this delightfully thought-provoking piece and I’m looking forward to seeing it grow.


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