By Eve Cheesmur
Date / Venue: Tuesday June 3rd, Civic Theatre, Auckland
I've just completed 25 sit ups before writing this review. That is probably equivalent to .00000000000025% of what my body is capable of. This fact has been brought to my attention after seeing the dexterity of the performers in Shadowland.
Jeepers can they move. Granted, the acclaimed dance troupe Pilobolus are all trained dancers/actors/movers, and their bodies have probably been stretched, squeezed and bent in a million ways from an early age, but I feel that this cumbersome thing that I call a body is capable of a lot more.
I was excited about seeing Shadowland. It was co written by one of the lead creators of SpongeBobSquarePants and it features the Youtube hit of that cute shadow dog accompanied by the soundtrack ofBeyonce's rendition of Alicia Keys' 'New York'.
I was only a wee bit disappointed.
The movement was a yoga masters dream, the lighting was epic and well thought out with great depth of field, the performances (especially by the lead), were all class. But, the story was average and a bit hard to follow at times. Was this show GA? Because if it was, perhaps they should have cut out the scene of the stoner driver sharing a joint with his dog. Or maybe dropped the act of the dog centaur threesome. (I wasn't too sure what was going on there, and neither were the kids sitting behind me).
As far as it went audio-wise, incredible. American producer, film composer and musician David Poe had obviously put ample thought into the score and sound design and it was delightful.
I'm a huge fan of The Civic Theatre as a venue, but felt that if you were in the unfortunate position of being seating up high, or to the peripherals of the stage, the show would have been lost. If you're going to go to this show (which I highly recommend you should), make sure you get a good seat: central and close to the stage.
All in all, Shadowland was a show which I felt was riding on the coattails of a Youtube hit with an extension of some great talent. The story wained and didn't have a huge objective and I feel that it would be an even better watch if there were shorter bursts of more intricate, well thought out ideas and succinct performances.
I look forward to seeing more from this dance troupe in the future, but in the meanwhile, I'll continue with my sit ups.
Shadowland runs at the Civic Theatre in Auckland until Sunday June 8th.