LCP Dance Theatre’s mission is an important one: to raise awareness of human rights violations. Last year it brought an extended version of its show Am I? to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which was inspired by the story of Sophie Hayes, a victim of human trafficking (and author of Trafficked). This year, it brings a sequel—I am—again inspired by a true story. It examines the challenges recovering victims of trafficking face, how they eventually rediscover their stolen identities, and how this can ultimately allow them to regain their proper place within society.
Using a very effective combination of video and movement, the show begins with a chilling reminder of how women can find themselves blackmailed, controlled and exploited by their abusers. However, given the success of this initial use of multimedia, it is a shame there isn’t more use of it made during the rest of the performance.
There are many poignant and beautiful moments throughout the show, the choreography structured along an underlying narrative. Although Joanna Puchala’s choreography is very strong in many places, it does appear to rely on a somewhat restricted language, and towards the end of the show, it begins to loose its power to some extent.
The dancers are good and clearly very committed, with individual solos providing some of the best segments of the show. Yet, despite the amount of effort that is visibly being expended by them, their movements would benefit from being generally much tighter, as energy and focus are sometimes being lost.
Given that this is their opening performance, it is perhaps unsurprising that I am doesn’t quite manage to deliver its full potential yet. No matter what, however, the important work that LCP Dance Theatre does, makes this a show certainly deserving of support.