Relic from the Latin “relinquere,” which means “whatever is left behind”; a proof of existence – creative or destructive, soothing or traumatic, tangible or not; we have existed and we still do and a mark is left. And since we interact we assimilate or are assimilated gradually or unconsciously, hence the osmosis. On this axis of transformation and mutability Euripides Laskaridis’ piece makes for a unique performance. To quote from the website “…with our gaze fixed firmly on unexpected aspects of the human condition, we explore everyday life – the little details, the collective subconscious, the imaginary and the absurd. By testing the limits of our acceptance of the incongruous and unfamiliar…”.
Bodies, gender, aesthetics and conformity are all thrown into the mix, jumbled up and the ensuing mayhem is 50mins of an experimental performance, which demands your attention, even though it might not necessarily earn your approval. Laskaridis cuts a grotesque figure, with his full body costume nude-coloured and gender-undefined. Highly muscular legs are topped with a distended belly; the head is a stocking devoid of expression and on the head two bulbous lumps; all that balancing on a pair of heals, appropriately nude. The décor is equally shambolic and minimal: an undecorated Christmas tree, long past its best, a marble bust, a Swiss ball, wires on the floor fizzing and short-circuiting.
During the show the marble bust doubles as a toilet, the Swiss ball is roughed up, an unintelligible speech is delivered with French panache, there is some crooning and some dancing and an equally intelligible tantrum. There is an element of sorrow in all the passion and the physicality of the show and the finale when Laskaridis peels away slowly the mask as the lights drop has an affecting stillness.
Whether you appreciate the surreal and the abstract or you are a proponent of realism, Relic will not leave you indifferent in its bizarre outlandishness.
- Experimental Dance
- Director - choreographer - performer: Euripides Laskaridis
- Associate director : Tatiana Bre
- Costume: Angelos Mendis
- Co-production: Athens & Epidaurus Festival and Osmosis
- Barbican Centre, London
- 31 Jan – 4 Feb 2017
- Review by Katerina Yannouli
- 2 February 2017