DANCE REVIEW: Lemi Ponifasio / MAU

On a slick black stage, stabbed through the heart by a monolithic shard, dance troupe MAU terrified me with a tense, urgent, masterful piece with a throbbing, ritualistic score.

You’ll never sleep again.

In Birds with Skymirrors, Samoan choreographer Lemi Ponifasio deals with the big issues: our relationship to the environment and to each other, relating the destruction of both to a false sense of isolation – a kind-of human malaise. Hard and bleak, yet rich in its allusion to history and the landscape, brawny dancers, particularly the women, used precise, unfettered gestures to communicate the urgency of a situation that we have become numb to. Contemporary dance can easily bore, and tough themes like this one can alienate. But I tell you, feeling mysteriously drained and empty after an hour on facebook, suddenly my life courses with meaning.

Mercat de les Flors,
Fri 18th and Sat 19th November, 9pm.
Tickets @€20.

An interview with Lemi Ponifasio on YouTube.
The Guardian’s four-star review of the piece.

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