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A Sensuous Massage of Senses and Imagination – Theatreview

Memories of Fijian women in lagoon water, wading, washing, fishing and singing, is the inspiration for this mesmerising 80 miniutes of visual theatre. Stories told by Pacific Island women and the mythology that infuses their world are also reflected in Vula (Fijian for moon).

The creative ensemble assembled by director Nina Nawalowalo (from Fiji) to develop this extraordinary performance piece comprises four Polynesian actresses from Samoa (2), Fiji and Aotearoa/ NZ, a Tongan pupeteer, Pakeha Kiwi composer and lighting designer, and a Greek set designer.

Tolis Papazoglou covers the stage with a shallow black reflecting pool and curtains it behind with strips of black plastic. With minimal and specifically directed lighting – designed by Stephen Blackburn – this allows a range of visual images to be isolated and reflected. The principle is similar to black velvet painting but in this case the result is anything but kitsch.

Gareth Farr’s original music evokes a warm, humming timelessness where even breathing is a long slow sigh that elevates the spirit to languid flight.

Read the full review here

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