In this live experience of immersive exploration through movement, sound, and video, Supercell Dance Festival‘s Jupiter Orbiting lives up to its excellent reviews. In this exhibition of personal identity through science fiction and visceral choreography, performer Joshua Pether delivers a disturbing and dark performance without uttering a single word. Through his portrayal and performance of three separate identities, Pether is able to navigate through psychological and physical traumas his character is victim to.
Upon arrival, the audience is treated to a strange and awkward experience of Pether decorating a table covered in toys and pieces of balloons, partnered with a pink flamingo pool toy. This quickly changes as ominous soundscapes and disturbing imagery are suddenly incorporated. The audience is then taken away as Pether guides them through a deranged and distressed sequence of events.
Through movement and sound, Pether describes an agonizing experience which has happened to him. Scene by scene, Pether strips away clothing, barriers and emotions as he delves into the character’s struggle of what appears to be a sexual assault of some kind. Absurdist themes are prevalent as he uses physical movement to describe this assault during his childhood. For a performance that runs for 40 minutes without any dialogue, the audience goes a through a roller coaster of emotions with basic items such as a bed sheet, children’s cartoons and a horse mask. This harrowing sequence of events is not for the faint of heart, as viewers witness Pether negotiate the boundaries of fantasy and reality.
Overall, his thrilling performance creates a shared bond with the audience, which explores different perceptions of mental health and trauma. For those willing to step out of their comfort zone, this is for you.
Readers also enjoyed this review of Supercell Dance Festival.