Monday, November 22, 2021


Beginning with the dancer lounging, at times precariously, on a long modernist-like couch'ish shape comprised of yellow and red octagons, Kathleen Rea (dancer) and Newton Moraes' (choreographer) conspire to bring their new work,
Five Angels On The Steps into diverse, at times harrowing, frequently delicate and classical realms.

Although there are moments when the collection of varied segmental, musically accompanied interludes may seem to long for more haunting shapes, fully augmented by Sharon DiGenova's brilliant lighting effects, the red &yellow octagonal forms are most effective when the recorded narration regarding skeletal formations and corporeal sensation are accompanied by a musically framed, recorded voiceover that becomes a poetic movement combining scientific terms and a rhythmic commingling of spoken word and factual data. 

One section where the dancer applies red tape to the octagons utilizes these somewhat anomalous shapes to good effect and becomes a jarring battle between five identical props that  provide a simultaneously sombre and playful stage conglomeration. 

Nearing the end of the piece, atop one of the octagons, in sharply distilled, tightly focused lighting, and  surrounded by a drum inflected soundscape, Rea is at her most vibrant and rigorous, befitting a finale for this deeply moving, endlessly engaging sixty minutes of movement inspired by a near death experience. 

The beautifully arranged collection of choreographic moments, facial expressions, lilting limbs and a skeletal partner, make for what ultimately becomes a dance theatre journey, ending in a kind of chamber music scene where both skeleton and human body face each other full on for a final movement of love, death, and corporeal acknowledgement - allowing for five octagonal angels, one skeleton, and one dancer to come to terms with the unresolvable spectre of mortality, out of body experience, and that ongoing battle with our physical selves and our earthly lives that angels may comfort us within as they inhabit their dual roles as guardians and fatal companions.

A complex, moving, and haunting new work that ran at the Wychwood Barns TYT theatre from November 19th to November 21st.

for program details see;

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