Lia Rodrigues, Companhia de Danças

Review in Issue 15-2 | Summer 2003

All human life is here in this extraordinary performance… an evolutionary journey that takes the human body from abstract objectified form to vital, world-changing social and political being.

We start with a series of tableaux, presenting the human body as sculpture, the performers making shapes that focus our attention on the bony curve of a spine or the angle of an elbow.

We move from this abstracted view of line and form to human interaction, where bodies meet – creating shapes but also forming physical relationships with hints of both sensuality and humour. We are by now acclimatised to the selection of naked bodies right in front of our faces – but unprepared for the next stage, where the performers shake and roll themselves into the audience. We have moved into the arena of human emotion; expression of need and response.

The sudden appearance of a clothed, speaking performer is another shock. No longer the naked ape, the human being is consumer and commentator on her world. As she walks amongst us, she recites a litany of sound-bites – ‘The children of Iraq… Britney Spears… September 11th…’ – each pronouncement given equal weight. Eventually, all are clothed, and come together in an ensemble finale that presents the human being as all-powerful when united and joyous in the celebration of life and defiance of oppression.

Should anyone tell you that physical theatre can’t be political, or that political theatre is boring and turgid – then point them in the direction of Brazilian Lia Rodrigues’ stunning company. Not a hint of dull agit-prop but passion, commitment, energy and a love of life – all human life – is written large upon these bodies.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 2003

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-2
p. 25