Arts & Culture / Reviews

REVIEW: STEPMOTHER/STEPFATHER

Arthur Pita & HeadSpaceDance present a double bill of dark dance
Fri 3 March, The Place London

Award-winning Director and Choreographer, Arthur Pita in collaboration with HeadSpaceDance returned to London to present his latest production STEPMOTHER/STEPFATHER – a truly wickedly gruesome double bill of dark dance.

Part one of the double bill Stepmother presents a collage of classic fairy-tales with sinister twists. Eye-popping, heart munching and face slapping the traumatic stories of Snow White, Rapunzel, Hansel & Gretel, Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood are shoved into the realm of the grotesque, each episode performed with conviction. The cast of seven are striking in more ways than one. Clad in long black coats and heels the evil clan torture the familiar damsel in distresses and German siblings until their certain demise. A highlight being Rapunzel and her morbid stepmother, who dominates the long-haired princess before she cuts off how luscious locks and wears them as a scarf!

STEPMOTHER (Photo: Ambra Vernuccio)

STEPMOTHER (Photo: Ambra Vernuccio)

Pita’s 2007 work The Stepfather, originally commissioned by CandoCo, is re-imagined for the second piece of the night. Stepfather tells the grisly tale of a twisted family situation, inspired by the folk punk ‘Country Death Song’ from cult American band, Violent Femmes. Spiralling into a hellish world of incest and murder, the search for redemption is played out beyond the grave. Karl Fagerlund Brekke and Christopher Akrill play Eugene and Dead Eugene, the damaged stepfather, giving a terrific performance. Eugene succumbs to the temptation of his daughter Mary Lou, played by the elegant but powerful Clemmie Sveaas. Beaten and bruised by her sisters, ordered by her mother after she’s caught with her knickers down Mary Lou is thrown down a well by Eugene who then has no choice but to hang himself. The piece ends with haunting, yet beautiful image of Sveaas swinging from Brekke’s limp body mourning her love.

STEPFATHER (Photo: Ambra Vernuccio)

STEPFATHER (Photo: Ambra Vernuccio)

Together STEPMOTHER/STEPFATHER is a coarse concoction of in-your-face themes with the soundtrack to both pieces highlighting the tense and dramatic story-telling of this fierce septet of dancers.

Pita & HeadSpaceDance’s production is playing at The Place, London until 11 March before heading to Canterbury, Salford and Newcastle. If you’re a sucker for the dark side you’re certainly in for a treat with more than a few tricks.

Get your tickets now: http://www.stepmotherstepfather.com

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