Sunday, March 04, 2012
I'm not entirely sure I have the vocabulary to describe Burn International's debut performance, Carnally, Where Do We Go From Here.
I don't know if it's strictly avant-garde or experimental... although I think the closest thing to it that I've ever been to was Mothlight last year, and it is one of the stranger things I've ever been to see.
It's not strictly dance, because there are words... beautiful, hypnotic, perfectly used and purposefully cadenced words tripping lightly from the lips of Branden Christine.
It's not strictly acrobatics, performance art or that grand catch-all, "circus"... although all three cast members have brilliant control over their bodies and use them to tell the story. Plus, I always think of performance art as being slightly pretentious... which this wasn't.
And it's not strictly theatre... although that's where the Fringe Guide has it... and I guess if you're going to wrap up an experimental, dance and acrobatics show with words... theatre is the closest match.
Or, as we're told before the show, it's going to be evolution (or maybe that's capital E Evolution) in 45 minutes.
The stage is dominated by an enormous, pulsing, breathing, glowing, tentacled... something... which oddly doesn't feel menacing... more like a protective haven.
It starts with Leah Landau and Sam Wang unfurlling themselves from upside-down proto-creatures and beginning a strange... evolution, I guess... from one form to another.
Once Christine comes out on the stage, it's often hard to look anywhere but at her... even if she's wrapped in a gauze cocoon/womb, or wearing a plaster mask.
I think she's the most hypnotic during the "Einstein is Antiquated" sequence... between the use of the mask and rattling off descriptions of impossible yet plausible menu items.
Like I said, it's not an easy show to explain, but it's something that I don't think I'll forget in a hurry.