Socially relevant

Last night I went to see the inaugural performance ‘Bound’  by ‘Justice in Motion‘.  A new company set up by dancer Anja Meinhardt to combine her love of dance/theatre with her passion for social justice. With a commitment to partnership with charities directly involved in the issues she is exploring so that the impact of her work can spread wider and extend beyond a ‘night at the theatre’ she wants to enable audiences to actually have somewhere to go and ‘do something’ about issues presented.

I went hoping it would be good but rather fearing that it might be a bit heavy, ‘earnest’ or simplistic. Instead I was impressed, moved and despite the subject matter entertained.

The piece used dance, acrobatics, spoken text, props, projection, lighting, recorded sound and music. These were skillfully woven together so that each element contrasted or worked with others to create variety with cohesion. (script writing by Gareth Cook, sound and video work by Ben Johnston). The individual qualities of each character (Anja Meinhardt – Ivanka, Matt Mulligan -Simeon, Emma Webb – Nadine) and their stories were differentiated both by set, props and location on stage as well as the specific movement languages employed. Connections and links between them emerged as the piece progressed and the use of shared motifs, timing, props and choreography made these on a visual as well as an emotional level.

The show was followed by questions and answers with the cast and also Oxcat a charity which has been trying to raise awareness on human trafficking for a number of years and was available with information and leaflets.

I was impressed that Anja and the team have managed to make a piece which you can truly enjoy for its artistic craftsmanship and performance skills but which also tackles an uncomfortable reality in society which exists beyond the eye catching headlines. There were no answers in the show, but glimmers of resilience and hope. The answers are for the audience to work on with the guidance and advice of experts in the field.

Thought and emotion provoking work on a socially relevant issue of today. I look forward to more.

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