Note: This review is from the 2015 Fringe

@ Greenside @ Nicolson Square, Edinburgh until Sat 29 Aug @ 19:35

Created as part of a residence at Le Manufacture, Aurillac, France by Detroit born choreographer, Vendetta Mathea, now living in France, Homme | Animal examines the foundations of human nature, the study of which has always been part of choreographer Mathea’s life, even outside her artistic work.

Homme | Animal expresses how we feel and act when we move through time and space, seeking to live with our body, mind and soul as one, with energy and instinct.

The performance opens with Mathea, quoting a series of phrases setting the piece up.

‘I’m blind, living in the dark.
Darkness is my education
.
Education of
family. I’m blind.
Education of religion. I’m blind.

Education of culture. I’m blind.

How can I know who I am?

If I believe I am who and what they want me to be.

Sacrificing myself to be with others.

Sacrificing myself until I am no more.

But feeling with pure energy,

With my heart, my mind, my body, my soul,

This is who and what I am.

I
feel. I see. I am an animal.’

First designed experimenting with random movements starting with an emotion, three dancers – two male and one female – join Mathea on stage. The trio, who have worked with Mathea for the last decade, move around the stage dressed in striking red attire, which resonates against the otherwise black, bare stage.

There’s a mysterious animalistic feel to their moves, sometimes precise, sometimes more fluid, as they perform individually and together, reminiscent of hunter gatherers. Their at times startled and crazed looks add to the foreboding feel.

The soundtrack contains elements of silence, classical music and almost aboriginal, tribal sounds resonating from Mathea, who for most of the performance sits cross legged in the corner of the stage.

Homme | Animal is a complex, deep piece and for the average audience member probably not worth trying to read too much into. Enjoy it for what it is: a beautiful dance, expertly choreographed and performed by a connected set of dancers.