Me So You So Me

Dates and Venue 25 February - 1 March 2014, 8pm | Historic Theatre, The Cultch, 1895 Venables St.

Music Asa Chang Lighting Design James Proudfoot Costumes Nancy Bryant & Kate Burrows Video Design Craig Alfredson, Tiffany Tregarthen and David Raymond Stage Manager Heidi Quicke

Reviewer John Jane

Everything about Tiffany Tregarthen and David Raymond’s strangely offbeat contemporary dance is extreme. Even Japanese percussionist Asa-Chang’s heteromorphic score is at best intoxicating and at worst – mind numbing.

Me So You So Me is a campy collaboration of hi-tech pantomime and innovative dance vocabulary that visually and aurally channels the polar opposites of a “love - hate” relationship. Tregarthen and Raymond communicate such intense emotions by throwing themselves (and each other) full tilt into weird physical comedy that has roots in Japanese manga.

James Proudfoot’s cutting-edge lighting design is the third element of a show that is chock full of gimmickry. Of course, gimmickry can work fine when it’s executed well and Tregarthen displays a natural talent for pulling off theatrical trickery. Like displaying cryptic text projected as a light beam down on her slender frame. And likewise, the show-opening sequence that has Tregarthen panning a harsh lamp at towards the audience as her partner disappears and re-appears eerily in the darkness behind her.

Movements across the Cultch’s Historic Theatre black stage are rarely fluid. Raymond’s staccato movements are contorted tumbles and squats; Tregarthen’s choreography is more responsive, exalting in whimsical impulse. The pair add exaggerated facial expression to their form to convey anger, joy, sadness and pain.

Both performers display unique physicality to bring a distinct aesthetic to their own original work.

© 2014 John Jane