EdFringe 2022 Review: angel monster

“an immersive and challenging yet always interesting piece.”

Experimental dance creation angel monster is a provocative piece from Australian company Phluxus2 Dance Collective and Cluster Arts. Delving into themes of sex, consent, violence and female empowerment, angel monster is an immersive and challenging yet always interesting piece.

As we enter the Assembly Checkpoint venue, performers twist and contort whilst asking the audience distorted questions as they enter their seats such as “What’s the best thing about being a woman?” The stage is adorned by hanging fleshy baskets made of pink fabric and containing a multitude of clothes of assorted styles and textures. These eventually are lowered and opened with the clothes strewn across the stage capturing the image of pre-night out bedroom. Before performers begin to adorn themselves with this mixture of clothing, they wear nude coloured underwear crafting a sense of a blank canvas.

angel-monster goes on to depict the representation of women in a patriarchal society – its title using the often imposed labels angel or monster. The dancers manage to emote the complex characteristics of the female emotional spectrum with free-flowing yet impressively choreographed movements. These movements capture the expectations of womanhood created and suppressed by a patriarchal society, with their movements suggesting an element of trying to fight the pre-determined confines of their destiny.

Careful audience interaction immerses all into the ambiguous narrative elements of angel-monster. Audience members are requested to remove pieces of clothing from the dancers or to move clothing into an interconnected line across the stage. Performers draw us in with absorbing eye-contact and impassioned movements. Sound design including distorted use of Shania Twain’s Man! I Feel Like a Woman helps keep the narrative progressing from the excitement of a night out to darker emotive corners.

Artisitc director Nerida Matthaei and the five dancers of angel monster delve into some hard-hitting truths exploring an angle of abuse in one of the narrative’s less ambiguous moments.

angel monster is a challenging, nuanced piece channelled through impressive staging and impassioned movements from the performers.

angel monster runs until Sunday 28th. Get your tickets here.

Photo: SeanDowlingDesign

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