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Edinburgh Fringe 2015

Homme / Animal

Vendetta Mathea and Co.

Genre: Contemporary, Dance

Venue: Greenside


Low Down

A visceral, joyous contemporary dance piece exploring the animal and emotions within us. High quality dancing and interesting original choreography. Creative and vibrant.


Vendetta Mathea and her dance company’s Homme /Animal is a substantial choreographed piece by Mathea about the animal in all of us who faces complicated emotional states – it is an exciting vibrant evening of pure dance! This contemporary dance company comprises Vendetta Mathea and three dancers – Surya Berthomieux, Link Berthomieux and Nicolas Garsault – who are all very well trained in several dance styles. Mathea, is a statuesque beautiful dancer who is first on scene, speaking phrases about heart, family and culture, while moving. Her charismatic presence, feline qualities of fluid dance movement, wonderful extensions and power are a joy to watch. Three dancers enter, and Mathea vocalises for the rest of the performance. It’s an interesting set up and the quality of her dancing is wonderful.

The two male and one female dancers – dressed in form fitting scarlet red shorts or dress – are lithe, athletic and graceful. This is the type of dance performance where you can sit back and admire the beauty, outstanding skills of the dancers and rich pastiche of a wide variety of music. However, although there is no story per se, there is a deep exploration of the theme resulting in glorious choreography that is interesting, original, sensory and non generic. Choreography in classical and contemporary dance is often generic and even superficial these days. Finding choreographers who are interested in moving it forward with depth of emotion are few. Mathea’s choreography on this piece is exciting, creative, unpredictable and visceral. This is contemporary dance with brief classical ballet steps sprinkled throughout and integrated into the choreography such as grand jeté, assemblé, pas de bourrée.

The dancers are precise. They leap high with superb extensions. Each dancer is sensitive, strong and shows personality through their dance, which is wonderful – there is no weak link in this company. An exciting music score is a mash-up ranging from metal, piano, to wind sounds and others by Tchad; combined with dance, it often has a filmic quality, taking us away from our busy lives. Beautiful lighting design by Olivier Caldamaison add atmosphere and drama. At times the choreography and sound-scape seem to take on a jungle like milieu, however, how each one of us interprets dance is personal so maybe there were no animals in the piece! A couple of things to consider – the spoken word at the beginning could be louder and better integrated, and the second half of the piece could benefit from editing. However, it’s up to each of us to decide and simply enjoy the journey. What is important is that we recognize the piece as a whole as a vibrant, visceral dance piece of high quality.