A Night at the Lowry with Jasmin Vardimon’s ‘Park’

A review by Miriam Bowyer

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On Tuesday night the 3rd of March at The Lowry, Quays theatre, the Jasmin Vardimon Company welcomed us to an evening of the production ‘Park’.

The company was first was founded in 1997 where it made its first stamp on the British dance theatre scene. Renowned for its theatrical and direct style it incorporates physical theatre, characterisation, the body and text and observing human behaviour.

The scene is set on a European street where the homeless live. Simple but yet effective the set holds an environment where these different types of people live, eat and breathe.

The opening holds a lot of characterisation as we are greeted by 8 different characters. The first character that took me by surprise was the bag lady performed by Nevena Jovanovic hiding on the bench she is made up of bags and you can’t quite work out where her body is. She slowly emerges and performs a repetitive motif swinging her arms around her head, isolating her hips and slowly walking on the insides of her feet. We as an audience can sympathise with the characters as they are all stereotyped.

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The production runs on individuality each dancer as his or her own moment to show their personalities. It is extremely humorous and will have you laughing off your seat but also holds a strong political message. There are moments where you question society and our beliefs with the patriotic flag flying dancer Uros Petronijevic screeches at the top of his voice ‘ I believe in…..’ The stage at times can become hysterical with short, fast, upbeat motifs performed as a whole following different shapely patterns making it visually pleasing to the eye.

The music compliments the piece as a whole using modern day songs and incorporating old classics such as “singin’ in the rain”. Silks Muys is not only a dancer but uses her voice to create humor and compose the scene. Her girly like charm and childish voice distinguishes the characteristics of a lady of the night. She also at the very end surprises us but I won’t tell you why!

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Photo Credit: Danilo Moroni

The costumes and props yet again are key items to help highlight the characters. Uros Petronijevic is highly energetic and fast on his feet using a basketball to balance on his middle finger he uses it as an intimidation game to threaten and ward off the others. Jumping off the walls and performing street dance steps we know as an audience he is edgy and dangerous.

Jasmin Vardimon’s Park is thought provoking and highly intelligent. Playing on societies values you end up questioning what would I do in that situation, how would I react? Within this park there are no limits or ideal promises everyone is to fend for themselves. With creative pathways and energetic footwork the piece becomes edgy and enticing.

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I would recommend seeing this again! Truly imaginative and incredible choreography!
I throughly enjoyed the show and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys the theatre. It holds all elements of singing, dancing and acting it’s almost like a musical production!!!

For more information about the Jasmin Vardimon Company and their production of ‘Park’ check out their website >>>

OR take a look at their Vimeo ‘Park/ In The Studio’ >>>

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