Company RAu's DIDO

Love is a powerful emotion. It can either make, or break a person, sending us into mental spirals at times that seem out of control and become not quite ourselves. Company RAu's DIDO goes out of its way to strip down and fuse together two famous pieces of writing by Virgil and Christopher Marlowe respectively, focusing on doomed lovers Dido and Aeneid to create a powerful performance that explores the impact love can have to the point of paranoia, obsession and personal destruction. Using a combination of spoken word, original music, physical theatre, dance and complimentary visual projections, choreographer and performer Korhan Basaran creates a world in which mental health gradually descends into madness and keeps everyone on the edge of their seats.

A powerful performance that explores the impact love can have

There are a couple of times where it is uncertain whether the show has started or finished due to some long moments of silence in pitch black. This whilst it adds to the brokeness of our Queen of Carthage Dido, does need to be tightened up to keep the action moving a little more and enable more engagement. What however evolves through Basaran's tight choreography and emotional performance, the intensity of Tolga Yayalar’s musical composition and the visual projections designed by Ataman Girisken is an experience that is vulnerable, challenging and interesting to watch. The intensity of Dido's obsession with a man that has captured her soul is relatable to some and Basaran is not afraid to explore how far the mind can take you. By building on repetitive actions and intricate rhythms that slowly depict her descent into madness, he creates someone you feel you want to help, but don't feel you can get too close in case you get hurt too.

The music is not overpowering, but underlines the energy needed to create this never ending maze of emotional destruction. Yayalar taps into how music can affect movement and mindset, but rather than healing Dido, it cleverly suggests how the mind can play tricks in a negative way. What we think is a song that aids us to take action, can be simply a vibration the brain sends out to propel us to do something else that we wouldn't do normally. Wind is focussed on a lot here as Aeneid's ship fleet sets sail and his broken-hearted lover proclaims that she will control the wind to keep him near her. Musically it flexes well keeping in with the theme of obsession and almost becoming God-like in actions and proclamations to keep their love close.

Finally the visual projections add the finishing touches to seal the lovers' fate as things become worse for Dido. Girisken's insight into how the brain perceives different vibrations compliment the physical performance to the extent of becoming visually stimulated, whilst giving us food for though through vibrant colour and hints of elements such as water and fire that make the world that evolves a harsh reality of being mentally unstable.

Company RAu's DIDO has a strong flow of creativity and vulnerability. One to watch.

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Reviews by Sascha Cooper

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Experience DIDO's heartbreak in a solo performance blending dance, theatre, and music. Istanbul based Korhan Basaran reimagines this timeless tale with immersive visuals and a moving original score. Dive into the depths of desire and betrayal in just 60 minutes. Dido is a solo multi-disciplinary performance by Istanbul-based choreographer/performer Korhan Basaran that reflects the myth of Dido and Aeneas using elements of dance, theatre, new music and video projection to explore themes of human desire, frustration and heartbreak. Basaran takes the audience on a journey in collaboration with Tolga Yayalar’s original composition and Ataman Girisken’s projection design deep into Dido’s mind as she falls in love and is ultimately destroyed by her own desire and loyalty. Language is an extension of movement as Basaran’s body softens, explodes, ducks, hides, and accuses, showing us how Dido’s mind grasps at the realization of her betrayal. Girisken uses video projection and Yayalar uses sound to redefine the stage space with simple, bold clean imagery with a constantly traveling sound that shifts our perception of time and space as we descend deeper and deeper into this dream poem of theatrical experience. Dido’s text has been re-written by Basaran with inspiration from Virgil’s Aeneid and Christopher Marlowe’s Dido; Queen of Carthage.

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