In an original performance presented by Georgina Hahn of Labyrinth Productions, UGLY – a not fairytale combined contemporary dance, videography, and theatre in a philosophical, dreamlike show performed at the Mercury in West Village.
With fantastic costuming throughout, the audience are first introduced to the Elementals, beings that represent the four elements of fire, water, air and earth.
Fire, all in red, with a hard-hitting backing track personified the passion and fury of fire. Water, all in blue, was more mellow. Air appeared as a translucent dancing being on the patterned cinematic video display that formed the backdrop of the production, and Earth was lush greens and flowers.
After the Elementals, a being named Ugly is born into the world who doesn’t quite fit in. Ugly struggles between being called to the dark side of the devilish Eclipse. Eclipse’s costume was all black, horns and hooves and he pranced about the stage mischievously.
Ugly also meets a Halfling, who is half-coloured and half-grey, brilliantly done with body paint and butterfly wings.
Throughout the meeting of these various characters, the audience is posed questions of what it means to be beautiful, themes of acceptance and change, and the fight between good and evil. It’s thought provoking and all dancers were wonderfully talented.
A highlight included a battle scene where the videography moved powerful beams of energy between each of the opponents to the rhythm of the music.
The fantastical colours and creativity of UGLY – a not fairytale made it the perfect way to end the final weekend of Adelaide Fringe. All the parts of the performance came together with great synchronicity, and it will be exciting to see what Labyrinth come up with next.
*** Four stars