(Some)Body

Last year, I was lucky enough to catch Alyona Ageeva’s Physical Theatre PosleSlov perform to a small audience and immediately became a fan. This Russian company tours outside their homeland in order to express the freedoms inherent in art. This year, I’m delighted to be sat at the back of the packed-out sanctuary space at Zoo Charteris to see their new piece; an examination of the body, the soul and the compelling power of the nude form.

The power, not the pornography of the body

Performed by six dancers, completely nude, (Some)Body questions the relationship between the flesh and soul, the self and the physical, and what it means to be naked. The cast are vulnerable in their nudity but powerful in their form as they perform a simple, repetitive, almost hypnotic series of vignettes. There are moments reminiscent of the Greek pantheon and the original Olympians, sections that feel ancient and pagan, and moments that are pure contemporary dance. At one point, the cast sing as they stroke the hair of a kneeling woman and it evokes the symbolism of a marriage rite or preparation for holy orders. I am enraptured, and the wonderful score by David Block only adds to the serene atmosphere.

If you’re uncomfortable with nudity, then I absolutely recommend you see this beautiful piece. The simple, unchallenging flesh on display is sensual without being sexual; this is the power, not the pornography of the body. It will chage your perception of the performative nude and leave you wondering why anyone could be concerned by the one thing we all share - we arrive unclothed and, as presented in this piece, so shall we face our maker.

PosleSlov perform with sublime confidence and their manifesto of presenting work internationally as a form of cultural diplomacy could do much to change our attitude towards the country that is currently so vilified in the news. The six dancers on stage represent the artistic heritage of the world’s largest country and Russia could not ask for better ambassadors.

Reviews by Frodo Allan

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Since you’re here…

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You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Does a body have its own soul? Does a body make us a human being? What is hidden beneath nudity, and what is nudity itself? Nudity is extreme openness and vulnerability and, at the same time, an incomprehensible power connected not only with sexuality. The magic of Eros, compelling power of nudity, way up and way down, transcendence and co-creation, fragility and strength.  Life, death, pain and love – all of this complex and unspeakable physical phenomenon is what we are researching in (Some)Body.

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