Villains – Dublin Fringe Festival – Review
Venue – Project Arts Centre – Space Upstairs
Performances – 8 – 13 September
This is a new dance piece created by Luke Murphy and Attic Projects that explores the world of Superheroes and in particular the ne’er-do-wells who plot their demise; the Villains! There are five dancers on stage at various times and they interact with each other along with a collection of multimedia animations, images and sounds. The images were created by artist David Fishel who has worked with Luke Murphy on a number of previous projects. The piece is inspired by science fiction graphic novels and films such as Superman, Bladerunner, Highlander, Akira and Metropolis.
There are also spoken word sections where we hear various ideas and concepts being discussed. One sections tells us the origin of the word Satan with the literal translation not being as expected. In Hebrew, it means “accuser” or “adversary” and not a straight forward embodiment of evil as we would expect today. The word is derived from a verb meaning “to obstruct or oppose”. There are other sections that quote Jon Ronson and his work on public shaming through the internet, which is described as being ‘worse than death’ in some instances. Other times we hear interviews with superheroes who discuss their powers and how they control their rage!
The stage has a large slatted screen at the back of the set, which allows images to be projected onto it. There are also a number of smaller screens that start on the side of the stage but are moved in all directions. The images are mostly black and white line drawings and are typical of cells in a comic book. Another interesting touch is the use of a mannequin, with images projected directly onto its face, bringing it to ‘life’.
The music (created by DJs Moderat and Howling along with instrumentalist Alessandro Cortini) also plays an important part and it is suitably dramatic, to set the scene and create the sounds for these epic conflicts. The movement takes inspiration from the battles of superheroes in films as the dancers move with bold and flamboyant actions. There are sequences where all five dancers move in unison which are very impressive and quite dramatic. The spoken text adds little to the images and movement on display but the concept works well otherwise and explores the world of superheroes with style.
Production Credits –
Choreography Luke Murphy
Cast Luke Murphy, Omar Gordon, Zoe Gyssler, Hsiao Jou Tang, Eddie Bruno Oroyan
Video Designer David Fishel
Soundtrack DJs Moderat and Howling and instrumentalist Alessandro Cortini