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Institute – Northern Stage, Newcastle

Created by Amit Lahav
Music: Dave Price
Director: Amit Lahav
Reviewer: Gemma Hirst

Ever wondered what happens to those memoires that somehow manage to find themselves into a cupboard that was always locked and never opened?

Gecko bring to Northern Stage a demanding physical performance about four men’s journeys that intersect into a beautiful piece which they have namedInstitute.

Focusing on two tales, one of which is Martin, who just wants to be free of his burden and to breathe his last breath; to be able to kiss his girl Margaret. And Daniel, who is forever climbing up in his career ladder but wonders ifhe ever be able to reach the top, always going two steps forward and one step back. There is one thing preventing these two men from realising their dreams; as Institute discovers, that when it comes to being in charge there maybe more than one puppet master holding the ropes.

Gecko have created an incrediblypowerful performance, with four strong dancers moving in such a way thatportrays a thousand words. Becoming very gestural and intricate, we are able to translate those movements into powerful pieces akin toindividual soliloquies. As each physical movement has a different dynamic to it, there are particular moments in the performance whereby we see the dancers being taken over by an unknown force or spirit. Their movements become stiffened, stilted and constricted, feeling helpless as they roll around the stage, contorting themselves into complex positions. Uncomfortable to watch, yet at the same time, the audience istransfixed atthe movements that are being created.

Reminiscent of choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherakoui and Akram Khan, Gecko use contemporary dance and everyday objects to convey a message to the audience, using cupboards and filing cabinets to take out the hidden memories. When the memories are released, we find that it is very difficult to put them away again. This piece dissects what it means to be human and our definition of what is to care for one another. Institutedemonstrates howwe as human beings living in the 21st century, are slowly but surely becoming even more unconnected and disjointed.

Institute is an intense piece of physical theatre, that by the end of it had this reviewerlost for words. Such an overwhelming performance, one’smemories ofthe performance will stay forever-never to be locked up in a filing cupboard.

Runs Until: 3rd October 2014

Created by Amit Lahav Music: Dave Price Director: Amit Lahav Reviewer: Gemma Hirst Ever wondered what happens to those memoires that somehow manage to find themselves into a cupboard that was always locked and never opened? Gecko bring to Northern Stage a demanding physical performance about four men’s journeys that intersect into a beautiful piece which they have namedInstitute. Focusing on two tales, one of which is Martin, who just wants to be free of his burden and to breathe his last breath; to be able to kiss his girl Margaret. And Daniel, who is forever climbing up in his…

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The Yorkshire & North East team is under the editorship of Charlotte Broadbent. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.