It’s fair to say that an evening of interpretative dance might be a thing of joy for hardcore theatre-goers only. Many people prefer to consume it in snippets, as an accompaniment to a pop track in a video, or as part of a musical.
As such, sitting through an hour of dance and little else might seem like hard work for some, yet with The City Will Crumble it’s rather an understated pleasure.
This new physical theatre piece with original music is inspired by film noir and tells the tale of Leda (Ana Marambio), a blogger violated by a cruel policeman (Diego Poupin). She becomes successful and feted before coming face-to-face with her violator. We see the corruption and the stifling side of a dystopian London, matched with the rewards of achievement.
A harrowing and interesting soundtrack from David Holyoake means that even for those coming to the show as relative novices, the piece holds one’s attention – the choreography from Marambio punctuating this with moments of intrigue.
It’s also politically relevant. Co-creator Martin Sandbu says he has always been fascinated by the city, and with more and more of us living in the concrete jungle, it’s a theme as ripe for exploring now as when The Third Man ruminated on the war-torn chaos of Vienna in the 1930s and 40s.
As a small production it remains a niche concern, hampered by funding limitations. It’s in rather a Catch-22 situation: in order to make money and expand, the show needs to attract audiences. But to have a much broader appeal, it needs backing to enable its creators to expand the film noir aesthetics and turn it into something special.
With plans to film the piece, help from the Norwegian Embassy and a dedicated team all working hard, this dance piece may yet power its way to becoming a success.
The City Will Crumble is the kind of show that needs to exist, allowing its creators to explore their creativity and play with ideas, examine the world we live in through a twisted lens, and show ambition to convey this in a dance medium.
Of course, without the funding to employ the visual pyrotechnics of larger shows, this won’t be everyone’s idea of a great night at the theatre. However, The City Will Crumble can open your senses if you want something different, thoughtful and musically arresting.
Want to see a vision of psychological and social dislocation? Check out The City Will Crumble here
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