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Broken

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This great, surging dance spectacle from Motionhouse makes you feel as if you have been present at the creation and destruction of the world. It’s cataclysmic. High impact doesn’t even begin to describe its mix of athletic movement, thunderous soundtrack, searing music and a digital film background so clever and deceiving that it absorbs the dancers into its imagery.

Belief is suspended, and the dancers very lives look in danger as they apparently cling to spreading roots and branches, hang helpless in the air or journey to the centre of the earth amid splitting rocks, dividing cells and the boiling chemistry of evolution. Caught up in such momentum, the six dancers use a complex and demanding variety of movement in swift, seamless and technically perfect sequences.

They climb, they crawl, they do ropes, they dive. There are deeply poignant moments, especially in the recurrent appearance of an enigmatic, angel-like figure present at birth and death, her face masked by her hands, her arrival heralded by a distant light. Miners deep underground encounter tragedy and so do apartment-dwellers in modern cities when natural forces take over. There is fear and primitivism in lonely night-fires and creatures that slink like Gollum.

It’s seismic, literally and metaphorically – a joyful, exhilarating show that demonstrates the will to survive, the resilience of the human body and above all, the sheer power of nature. A timely reminder of where we’ve come from, what lies beneath our feet and just how precious it all is.

Pat Ashworth

  • Mac, Birmingham
  • February 12-13, touring to June 4
  • Director/choreographer: Kevin Finnan
  • Producer: Motionhouse
  • Cast: Martina Bussi, Daniel Connor, Junior Cunningham, Ariadna Girones Mata, Alasdair Stewart, Rebecca Williams
  • Running time: 1hr 10mins

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The Stage
The Stage is a British weekly newspaper and website covering the entertainment industry, and particularly theatre. It was founded in 1880. It contains news, reviews, opinion, features, and recruitment advertising.
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