It’s safe to say that at FRINGE WORLD, some shows are designed for the heart while others are there to prod and ponder inside the mind. And then there’s the vast majority, made to tickle that funny bone and leave you chuckling. But there are those rare gems that encapsulate all three to create an experience akin to soul food. Embodiment is this kind of show.
A dance double-header, Embodiment begins with the work The Infinite Energy. Based on MRIAC research into the Mahat Meditation sequence, this work is thought-provoking. Here, dancers align the density of their movements beneath projected mandalas while four percussive musicians align the chakras with tonal bliss.
These musicians are the true standout of this piece, their instruments encapsulating the four elements. A gong forged from fire, a bow daubed in water, windchimes and terracotta pots all converge to create an aural palette of emotion. The dancer’s movements, choreographed by Melaney Ray, add a divinity of flesh that is simply mesmerising.
In the second work, Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes, an all too familiar playground song is transformed through dance battles and 80s power ballads. The result is at once both incredibly humorous and tender. The sequences for Head and Hands are particularly sublime: the intimacy generated within these two spaces aches at the edge of wonder and bliss.
There’s a healthy dose of high camp energy here too, as one of the dancer’s mimes along to the Laura Branigan banger, Gloria. The delivery is absurd and carefree, knees and toes becoming wonderfully ridiculous back-up dancers. Overall, this entire work is technical, slapstick and pure brilliance.
With Embodiment, HotHouse Company have created a show that shines brightly, holds you close and lifts you up. This is physical expression at its finest, rendered complete in a way that is unexpected, joyful and utterly nourishing for the soul.