A woman lies dead on the ground, her arms and legs spread out like a cliché chalk outline. A man and a woman stand over her body, looking down at her with cold, calm faces. One of them is holding a gun…
This is the frozen mosaic you walk into when entering the Pulp show. It makes you think that you are about to watch an dark intense piece of theatre. Instead you are treated to a witty, funny performance put on by the Underground Dance Theatre.
You know how the story ends. The performance is about how they got to that point. Steven van Wyk, Thalia Laric and Clina Katzke play three archetypical characters in this film noir comedy melodrama. They dance to a narrator who hilariously unveils the story using classic detective devices. The dancers embody their characters fully, using everything from body language, facial expression and particular movements to tell the story.
Where one character moves slowly and sensually, the other moves fast and haphazardly to show the stark contrast between them. Pulp was written and conceived by Steven van Wyk, and directed by himself, Thalia Laric and Clina Katzke, and you can see their hard work in every detail of the show.
They take the cat and mouse chase of detective stories and turn it into an actual dance. It is a refreshing take on film noir and a lot of fun to watch.
The most brilliant part for me, is the effortless way they incorporate props into their choreography. Whether it’s a red suit case or moveable window pane with blinds, the performers dance, weave and exchange props with such ease. This is wonderful to watch, especially given the small space they have to work with at The Rosebank Theatre. They really make effective use of their stage.
The show is filled with energy, humour and wonderfully passionate performances.
Photography courtesy Underground Dance Theatre
[Find out what else is going down in the Mother City on the Cape Town Etc events page]