Delve inTWO what makes a dance work Physical Theatre!

If physical theatre is hard to define how do you decide when dance crosses into this genre?

Let’s take two of The Lowry upcoming shows for instance, ‘Park’ by Jasmin Vardimon Company it is clearly labelled as physical theatre, however Matthew Bourne’s ‘The Car Man’ is not officially titled as a physical theatre piece yet it looks at sensitive themes, contains elements of acrobatic movements and is intensely theatrical. These themes and qualities can all be linked to physical theatre companies.

Which begs the questions, so what places a dance piece in the physical theatre genre?


Photo Credit: Ben Harries – ‘Park’ Jasmin Vardimon Company

You could say that the majority of physical theatre pieces look at relevant themes in relation to the time, place and issues. Take ‘Park’ it’s based on 21st Century feminism, capitalist greed and social-political themes immerged in an urban oasis with episodes of fight, play, fall, love and survival. It features heavily on the connections between various people that live in a city from a homeless busker to a rapping bad-boy and an evil property developer. This makes it relatable to the audience giving them a deep insight into the issues Jasmin Vardimon wants to explore and express.


‘Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man’ New Adventures

On the other hand, Matthew Bourne’s ‘The Car Man’ tells a story of greed, lust, betrayal and revenge, in relation to gender themes. However due to ‘The Car Man’ having a story telling style to it, you could say the piece is more of an escapist work than most physical theatre pieces.

‘Park’ has more of an acrobatic style to it and also contains pedestrian movements along with high-energy dynamics to really emphasis the theme and portray the strong and sensitive issues. However, when looking at ‘The Car Man’ you can see it has elements of balletic movements and perhaps the elaborate stage production plays a part in making it more of an escapist piece.

What dance pieces do you think contain elements of physical theatre?


‘Park’ Jasmin Vardimon Company

Jasmin Vardinmon’s ‘Park’ is coming to The Lowry on Tuesday 3rd March and if you can’t wait until ‘Park’ why not catch DV8 Physical Theatre’s ‘JOHN’ on Thursday 26th February and Friday 27th February.



Don’t forget to use the promocode YDA, to access your £5 tickets offer (limited to YDA’s ONLY and a max of 2 tickets per person) use the promotional code YDA and go to ‘Park’ Jasmin Vardimon. Alternatively book your tickets over the phone by contacting the box office 0843 208 6000.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s