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Medusa - Jasmine Vardimom Company

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We went to see this dance theatre production tonight at Dance East, Ipswich - an intimate venue which meant we got fourth row seats for about a third the price they'd be at Sadler's Wells, where it is playing from Monday.  I'm not normally a dance theatre fan but this is excellent - this is the only production I recall where my wife came out enthusing about it for an hour or more afterwards (she's a tough audience).  It covers themes of gender roles/ control, and marine ecology, set against the Medusa myth and its linguistic association with jellyfish. The ideas come thick and fast, with some really well executed 'big prop' routines involving a huge polythene sheet over the dancers and a kind of dog catcher hoop on a stick. These have the potential to go painfully wrong (the hoop) or be corny (the sheet), but are so slickly executed that they are really impressive. The choreography is very physical and athletic, and the dancers were correspondingly strong and crisp. There are some deliberately uncomfortable moments depicting abusive attitudes, but elsewhere plenty of humour, some in a quirky Bausch manner, and a tense, menacing final passage with the Gorgon.  We came out buzzing, and this is a company I'll seek out in future.

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