Co-creators Natasha Gilmore and Robert Alan Evans have suffused a time-old tale with a whopping dollop of multi-sensory pizzazz in Tiger – domestic grim turned asunder by the intruding wild (in reality, an exuberant dancer-creature in a rollickingly lurid orange suit).
Dancing a morning routine that has all the joy and spontaneity of a prison drill, an enclosed family unit leaves no room for child’s play. The child, in fact, has barely room to manoeuvre at all, so rigid are the set stakes of discipline, formality and routine. The choreography is methodical, morning-angry and stampy, performed with palpable ennui and disconnect.
Cheeky whispers of orange and the odd thunderous roar soon signal that change is afoot. To delve too far might spoil the fun; although it must be iterated that to see this routine later imbued with softness, sensuality and pleasure was both a shock and a heady relief. Gilmore’s choreography has a knack for teasing out the myriad forms of tender interplay between bodies – protective, playful, scolding, passionate – in all their curious details.
Ethereal music (partly performed live by Kim Moore) and an inventive set give a fresh imaginative accent to events. The set subtly mutates – from sticky webbed box of domestic captivity to a circus playground, jostling with moving buckets and tangerines galore – and provides a moving allegory for bonds of passion that enslave and trap as they bind.
It is rare to see dancers not only dancing so well, but also inhabiting character roles with such consistency, energy and wit. The mother (Kai- Wen Chuang)’s transformation is gutsily performed and unnerving to observe. There is a discomfort that comes from a deep-felt place of recognition, and it’s doubtful that any audience member wouldn’t find a chunk of their own self-limiting narrative reflected in this work. That said, there’s only one thing to be done. Re-vitalise your Fringe: catch Tiger, catch a tangerine, go wild.