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Fall Out – Blue Elephant Theatre, Camberwell

Choreographer : Avalon Rathgeb
Reviewer: Deborah Parry

Combining tap dance with jazz music may be an unusual choice but choreographer Avalon Rathgeb has managed to do so incredibly well in this uplifting piece.

Fall Out explores the theme of falling in and out of love – although this is only apparent in a literal sense during brief moments in certain numbers – when there are clear references in song lyrics, and matching visual representations on stage; for the best part, the piece feels more about interconnectedness in general, with the majority of it being performed by the full cast, often in synchronisation.

The original live soundtrack is provided by a three piece band (piano, vocals and percussion). Again, the theme of connectivity manifests in the interactions between the musicians and the dancers. Drummer Michele Dree is particularly adept at engaging with her fellow cast members, she gazes over frequently giving knowing looks that communicate a common understanding. Singer Hannah Jackson has a beautiful tone to her voice but, frustratingly, she frequently gets drowned out by the shoe tapping next to her. It comes as a relief when one of the numbers – a dreamlike sequence – is performed by a dancer who is barefoot, because it is only then that we can fully hear and appreciate the vocals. Aside from this, much is lost and the amplification distorts the sound throughout.

Costumes are contemporary, original and effective – with variations on a metallic theme, giving both a uniformity and a feeling of individuality. Actors drape shirts over themselves at times, further exploring the notion of relationships and, in particular, concealment (at what point do we feel comfortable enough with others to relax our barriers and express our true self?)

In a time where there has been much media attention focused on division, there is something particularly inspiring about watching a production that has such a strong sense of solidarity running throughout; Fall Out is successful in so many regards, but, perhaps this is its greatest strength.

Runs until 16 July 2016 |Image: C0ntributed

Choreographer : Avalon Rathgeb Reviewer: Deborah Parry Combining tap dance with jazz music may be an unusual choice but choreographer Avalon Rathgeb has managed to do so incredibly well in this uplifting piece. Fall Out explores the theme of falling in and out of love – although this is only apparent in a literal sense during brief moments in certain numbers - when there are clear references in song lyrics, and matching visual representations on stage; for the best part, the piece feels more about interconnectedness in general, with the majority of it being performed by the full cast, often…

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