Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Shadowland - Review

Shadowland is touring Australia, it is an international theatre sensation from America, presented by Pilobolus. Pilobolus was founded in 1971 and since then has toured 64 countries with their 115 pieces of repertory.  Shadowland is a stunning work that combines, dance, music, puppetry and illusion.

It is a story of a young girl who longs for independence but at the moment she is only free in her dreams. When she falls asleep her dreams take her to a strange land the other side of her bedroom wall. A land of shadows and strange creatures. Just like when you are dreaming sometimes it is good and sometimes not so good.  Some of the scenes are comical with crazy chefs that try to cook her,  she falls in love,  she is turned into a dog, and another she is teased and taunted to name just a few.

The music is composed by David Poe and it is amazing. It is quite varied and seems to be a mixture of Pink Floyd, Gong, The Beetles and probably many more.  It is available on itunes if you want to have a listen.  If you are not impressed by the music well you can't help to be impressed by the dancing and choreography.  The dancing is so fluid and the dancers are so light on their feet you can barely hear them and they are so majestic you would think that Lauren Yalango who plays the lead role is a light as a feather. The way she moves and is moved by others is astonishing, particularly at the beginning of Shadowlands as they rock her.  The pieces uses very few props with the actors making the furniture, animals, vehicles, plants etc.
The way the shadows are constructed and even the dog. I have tried to do this and it is not easy and after a few minutes (though it might have only been seconds) my arm ached! Shadowland must be a strain on the some dancers as a few had their knees strapped.  It would have taken a lot of rehearsals and commitment to get the precision between all the shadows and their interaction.  There is no digital trickery in this work is it all bodies and light.

I have never seen a work like Shadowlands before, if you don't normally like dance pieces, this is not the norm and really brings so much more to the stage.

Shadowlands plays for 90 minutes with no interval, it is playing now at the State Theatre until 20 June before moving on to Canberra, Perth and then Adelaide.

For more information visit their website -

1 comment:

Cameron Robertson said...

Wow your review about it seems so interesting! I bet children will love it just as much. Hopefully I can get a taped version of their performance at a nearby store here in Sydney as I doubt they will be making a debut again after many years.