Sky Labyrinths

Having absolutely loved Posolev’s other work at the 2018 Fringe, (Some)Body, I’m a little nervous at the start that this may not be of equal standard. On stage are two performers, cocooned in huge brown paper bags, as an apple hangs in mid air. The symbolism feels too on the nose for what is an interpretive genre and, going in with the knowledge that creation is a theme of this piece, I fear I’m about to see yet another retelling of Adam and Eve and the Fall.

An aural feast that entrances almost as much as the dance

However, as soon as the cocoons are shed and Alyona Ageeva and Arsenii Kurianov begin to dance, I am enthralled. Ageeva is a startlingly delicate figure onstage. She appears with a childish wonder, as if created in porcelain. And as her slight frame contorts and moves around the muscular, almost brutish Kurianov, it creates an intensity that perfectly complements the other. The choreography has clearly been planned to compliment the sound of the brown paper as the performers wrestle and tear at it. The accompanying score is an intriguing electronica soundscape that meshes with the noises of the rustling paper. Composer and sound designer David Block has created an aural feast that entrances almost as much as the dance.

The show is themed around the mythical gateways to the eternal mysteries that are open to everyone, but through which few dare to pass. Red fabric is used by the supporting dancers to represent barriers, constrictions and vestments that give the piece a much-needed splash of colour. As the show progresses, the dancers are joined onstage by a man who may be God, may be the serpent, or perhaps he’s fate, come to entice the innocent couple through the titular Sky Labyrinths. This is exactly what is required of the piece, as a great opportunity of physical theatre is the subjective experience of the audience to the presented performance. This show will have many interpretations, and that’s no bad thing.

Reviews by Frodo Allan

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The Blurb

'I looked up in the skies. The Sky river changed its bed' (Hattori Ransetsu). Once in a lifetime Sky Labyrinths open to everyone, but not everyone risks entering. These labyrinths are home to beauty and terror at the same time. They reveal the eternal secrets of the universe and pages of the books unwritten: there you can find your essence or get lost forever. It's a road with no beginning or ending, a river of time carrying humans' destiny. Those who come through these labyrinths will never be the same again.