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Melb Fringe Review: SOMA


If you are new to The Fringe, you may have heard the common phrase – “you just don’t know what to expect”. This was definitely my experience of Amy Macpherson’s SOMA. There was immense thought and preparation put into this delicate dance work by the young talented individual who received training at Sonsina Wogayehu of Circus Oz in the field of contortion. Although, I have to be honest, it did take me a while to engage and it tested my patience throughout the slow moving pieces.

The stage lit up to a teal covered Amy with only her feet, hands and face exposed. Much of the focus was on the feet twisting in never ended pivotal motion to the electronic beats of James Brown’s theatrical sound direction. So before you think this show is all about contortion, stop. It’s really all ankles, jerks and recurrent motion.

The only disagreement this piece had with me was the gradual dssynchrony between the two arts of sound and movement where the beats built audience bodies in anticipation for a climatic dance and the movement lacked or the movement displaced much contemplation and the acoustic energy was far off. Unless this mismatch was intentional, it something in me that wanted more.

However before you give up on this piece entirely thinking it’s thirty minutes of embodying a fish being electrocuted, do have an open mind and you’ll appreciate the beauty of it. SOMA indeed cleverly represents the decomposition of movement before it becomes dance. The transition of jerks to fluid flowed disentanglement is smooth and worth it. I only wished there was tighter cross talk between the music and the performance itself.

Stretch your mind, feast your eyes.

Let SOMA speak for itself.

Written By: Sandra Lee, September 2014

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