‘Betwixt’ was captivating.
Betwixt, from emerging street-dance collective Pink Matter, combines contemporary dance with spoken word for a powerful and accessible evening of performance.
Betwixt successfully combines the two worlds, of spoken words and physical performance, which is no easy feat. The performers make it feel effortless, gracefully moving from sequence to sequence and story to story; each time finding new and innovative ways to move between performers and language.
Much of this is due to the talent of the artists involved. Pink Matter is led by director, founder and performer Wanida Serce and this production features performers Huda Fadlelmawla, Amy Zhang, Joshua Taliani and Jazi Othman, all of whom shared sheer joy, energy, and stage presence paired with care and love of the work.
The themes of Betwixt shift from community to collaboration, group identity to the sense of self, and create an exceptional work that takes the viewer on an emotional journey venturing between playful explosive group scenes and contemplative solo work.
At the core of Betwixt is an exploration of cultural perspectives. It is clear from the start that this is not your average evening of contemporary dance, where you let yourself be absolved of audience responsibility as you sink back into your seats. Betwixt encourages you to sit up and take note, allowing the audience to film, take photos, whoop, cheer, holler and click when they see or hear something they like. This breaking of the fourth wall establishes a clear sense of connection with audience that is essential for spoken word; an understanding of both being spoken directly to and of being both seen and heard. Set within a traditional theatre set up, with the audience shrouded in darkness and hidden amongst a seating bank, Betwixt attempts, and for the most part successfully, to break the fourth wall. This is particularly true during the poetry excerpts in which performers reach out to the audience and integrate them within the storytelling.
This is an exciting and enchanting work, and Pink Matter is clearly a collective to be watched.
‘Betwixt’ performed until 5th March 2023 at Metro Arts. For more information visit the Metro Arts website.
Photo by @moonstrikken