Adelaide, Adelaide Fringe 2016

Vincent, Adelaide Fringe Festival 2016

0 Comments 13 March 2016

Artistic Director and choreographer, Melissa Lanham, has been working on bringing the performance of Vincent to life for several years now. Not only has she succeeded in portraying the famous impressionist, but in portraying creativity and art in a number of forms. Dance, visual art, music, letter writing, and theatre have all come together to embody the creative spirit of Vincent Van Gogh and his tumultuous mind.

The dancers were an engrossing delight; their performance fluid, one movement cascading into the next. If there were any slip-ups, the audience certainly didn’t notice them. Tobiah Booth-Remmer’s played Vincent with a dedication to character that I never expected could be portrayed in dance. His personified Psyche (Chloe Lanham) was an apt choice and did well to convey the torment of his mind as he tried to keep on track with his work. Their dance was a struggle to find balance, his Psyche a constant distraction from his painting – only when she was under control could he work in peace. Vincent wasn’t alone with his mind in this performance, he and his younger brother Theo (Michael Smith) were corresponding, their letters read aloud for the audience. Theo was a constant encouragement, he even, at times, helped Vincent wrestle with his Psyche.

One of the major goals of Vincent was to showcase the many effects of light, utilising it on stage, on objects, and on the dancers. This was undoubtedly the highlight of the performance. Artists had to paint quickly in order to capture the scenes, so short and swift brush strokes became another characteristic. While the stage contained just a limited number of props (frames, trees, a writing desk and the incomplete Starry Starry Night), they differed and changed before the audience’s eyes. In particular, the painting was ever changing as the light brought different colours into focus.

The music of Perth composer, Sean Tinnion, complimented and drove the performance to new heights. Beginning with something soft, the composition grew increasingly frenzied over time. When he painted, the music was not only frantic, but verged on unsettling.

This is certainly something for fans of the visual arts. Almost giving the impression of being in an art gallery, this show will have you spellbound from start to finish as you wonder how anybody could have orchestrated such a multi-dimensional piece. Not only did this show bring together arresting music, the pleasure of paintings, and awe-inspiring dance to tell the story of Vincent Van Gogh, it brought together these things in a celebration of the wider spectrum of art.

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This post was written by who has written 15 posts on Buzzcuts.

At twenty, Kayla has had a short story published in an anthology as well as several book reviews published both online and in the local library's Zine. She regularly contributes to The Empire Times and The Speakeasy Zine and hopes to publish her novel some day.

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