It feels a bit unfair to review a show that is still in progress, but the beauty of the Fringe is that it becomes a testing ground for creatives to try out their ideas and an opportunity for performances to develop. #JeSuis is one such show and the Aakash Odedera Company aims to tackle the ugly reality of our world today. The title is inspired by #JeSuisCharlie, in reference to the camaraderie shown across the world when freedom of expression is threatened and acts as a reminder that when we support each other we are stronger.
The performance questions who is really free if we are all silenced. The performers battle for their voice – they have their opinions, but can they be heard? The piece as it stands shows great potential, and its refusal to shy away from the violence and conflict in the world is as refreshing as it is disturbing. The antagonist, a powerful and agitated uniformed authority figure, exercises his control over the civilians as they desperately try to express themselves. The lighting is theatrical and helps to set the bleak scene, while the brutal and often violent choreography becomes more expressive as the story progresses
This is a unique performance: there’s no escapism here. Some of the scenes are genuinely hard to watch, but it makes for a truly troubling piece of dance theatre which offers the audience a big dose of reality in a chance to see how dance can tackle world events.
Words: Zoe Atherfold
#JeSuis, Zoo Southside, Aug 16-26, 8.30pm