For Now, I Am is an extraordinary dance performance that will move you to tears. When put into context of the story behind the piece, it is all the more beautiful and remarkable.
In 1997, Australian dancer Marc Brew moved to South African to take up his first professional job with PACT Ballet. Whilst travelling on a day trip to a game reserve Brew, was involved in a car accident as a passenger, leaving him with a C6/C7 spinal cord injury and massive internal injuries which almost took his life. His three friends in the car were killed and the drunk driver who caused the accident survived with a broken leg.
As a professional dancer and now paralysed, it was his worst nightmare, but this is a dance piece of rediscovery, using his body in a different way to produce something of such extreme grace and polish.
White kabuki silk covers the stage re-creating the clinical setting Brew woke up in after the accident, with the sounds of the sea-shore and a light misty haze setting the opening scene. It’s completely mesmerising. A “form”, reminiscent of a shrouded corpse, breaking the smoothness of the silk, is hidden underneath.
The shrouded object finally reveals Brew’s naked torso, with his accentuated muscles yet willowy body. The definition of each vertebrae is all the more moving given the context of the piece. His upper body dances in a series of twists and turns, using the silk as a means of expression and a movement aid, reminding me of the strength and gracefulness of swans. The final image, from which you can draw your own analogies, leaves you speechless.
Live video projections, by VJ Jamie Wardrop, accompanied by different water sounds, give the piece a sense of calmness as well as evoking how water is used by many religions to cleanse and heal. The score, specially composed by Claire McCue and exquisite lighting design by Andy Hamer, combine with Brew’s peformance and choreography to create a work that is so unique and powerful in the thoughts and feelings it provokes.
A truly brave, beautifully choreographed and exquisitely staged dance work that needs to be seen. It will be the highlight of your Fringe dance programme.