Last night I had the pleasure of going to see Theatre of Rhythm and Dance’s most recent production Mother Tongue.Mother Tongue is an innovative multimedia dance-music work and built within a framework that explores the diversity of culture and language – of physical cultural movement and sonic rhythmic languages. Cultures represented were Torres Straight Islands, India, Polynesia, Ghana and Java with flamenco. It also explored contemporary dance as well as body percussion – which provided some of my favourite parts of the piece. It focuses on the shared and separated spaces within this world and brings to light the similarities and differences of human beings – their cultures, arts forms, and ‘mother tongues’.
A special mention needs to go to Annalouise Paul, who provided the choreography, concept and direction. She has been working on Mother Tongue for seven years now and it shows in the shows finished product. It constantly made the audience question how we relate to other cultures, a topic that is quite hot within Australia as I write this review.
Annalouise Paul’s work was certainly helped by the brilliant performers. The cast was exquisite and included: Andrea Adidi, Geraldine Balcazar, Aletta Fauzi, Patrick ‘Lucky’ Lartey, Gregory Lorenzutti, Govind Pillai Original music by Tim Foley and Greg Sheehan Lighting: Toby Knyvett Costume: Tobhiyah Feller Art: Saranjit Birdi.
Each member performed with passion and commitment and moved their bodies in a way that exemplified the culture they were representing.The parts of the piece that I enjoyed the most is when the performers would use their bodies to assist the music; whether it be body percussion or their voices. This, in conjunction with smart lighting designs that interconnected the artists during the piece, kept bringing the audience back to the notion of everyone being connected even though sometimes we are separated by cultural and language barriers. Original music by Greg Sheehan and responsive light design by Toby Knyvett were apart of this process and truly helped to bring the piece together as a whole.
While you may not be able to see Mother Tongue before it closes, I seriously suggest that you remember “Theatre of Rhythm and Dance” and try and see any shows they have in the future – I know I will be.
Mother Tongue is playing at Bangarra Dance Theatre from 3rd September