Conceived, Directed and Performed: Bridie Hooper. NICA. Lighting: Jason Glenwright. Costume: Gail Sorronda. 11th-15th October, 2022

Bridie Hooper uses her exceptional circus and dance skills to explore the darkest of questions concerning the role of death in life. The audience is presented episodically with notions of restraint, freedom, projection, relationship, ecstasy and death for consideration.

While Bridie Hooper’s strength and flexibility allows her to present an exceptional range of movements and interactions with items on the stage including candles, pebbles, cement blocks, a blow up doll and aerial double straps, it is her interactions with her own body which show the best of her skills. There are several episodes where her frantic efforts to gain mastery over uncontrollable movements are physically beautiful and emotionally challenging.

Bridie Hooper’s expressive acting skills are demonstrated when, with just the smallest of shoulder movements and glances, a decision is communicated. The artist deeply engages with the audience through deliberate, focussed looks such that even her glances are full of meaning.

The journey which the audience is invited to witness is balanced between large scale, physical movement and stillness. There is little humour or irony, but there is complete commitment to each moment. The episodic nature of the presentation does occasionally work against the underlying narrative of a journey towards the ultimate choice.

The sound and lighting is carefully planned to support and enhance the movement on stage.

This is a brave, committed performance which trusts superior skills, emotional truth and careful design to illuminate one of the biggest questions in life.

Ruth Richter

Photographer Billie Wilson-Coffe

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