The inspiration for this haunting, dreamlike dance performance is Géricault’s The Raft of Medusa, which depicts a jumble of intertwined bodies and has human desperation as its theme. Choreographer Alan Lake has taken the painting’s beauty and pathos and transposed it to the stage, adding his own brilliance. Nine dancers perform under an ever-shifting scenography–sometimes in pairs, sometimes individually, sometimes in a thick knot of muscle and limb that evokes Géricault’s vision.
Lake’s production is entirely gestural and musical, and yet there is so much to reward our attention: there are portable wooden structures for the dancers to hang from, or against; there are, at times, sheets of translucent material that cloak undressed bodies; there are precise lighting changes, from single spotlights to fulsome illumination. The music has a dark throb and an ambient constancy, as well as intermittent percussion and string notes. Powerful, seductive and ultimately unclassifiable, Le cri des méduses is a triumph of the imagination.
Presented as part of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.