Mary Pearson Presents…
On Wednesday 8th March 2017, we had the pleasure of welcoming Mary Pearson and her work ‘FoMO, mofos!’ to the LEAP Dance Festival 2017. On entrance to the performance, Pearson herself welcomed us with a sign with her name on. As she casually interacts with her mobile phone… a key opening theme to the performance to come. The mobile phone symbolises our ever growing digital age that allows society to be aware of all happenings through just a device, a mobile phone a laptop. We have the ability to be aware of all happenings, always wondering if there is something better happening somewhere else. As Pearson enters the space, she hands out signs throughout the audience that read ‘HERE’. One of many props in which Pearson uses to further elaborate her connection to the theme. Within the work, Pearson can be seen to break the fourth wall, involving the audience, giving them tasks and generally speaking to them.
Mary Pearson talks of her work being a solo but not a solo at the same time. Throughout her process, Pearson collaborated with a variety of artists that gave stimulus and experiences after their time together. This giving new chapters and emotions to the performance. ‘Part homage, part identity theft’, the idea that the material created was inspirational, beautifully collaborated and successfully seamless.
We are constantly made aware of other happenings, Pearson opens the stage, taking a seat she sings ‘I am here… I wanna be where you are…’ Truly showing the social and emotional impacts portrayed on people and how it can affect us. The repetition in spoken audio was effective and well received, giving a continuous and pushing vibe. This furthering the theme and portrayal that others are doing better, having better experiences, thus creating anxiety and apprehension.
Within the performance, Pearson moves through her gathered identities and portrays them differently. This gave a delightful performance that incorporated so many techniques and themes, it truly gave a meaningful performance that captured all. Moving through a peacock, a sheep and a moth, Pearson showed grace and power as she portrayed each with character and creativity. The costumes used within the performance were gorgeously used, furthermore, with a good sense of representation. Pearson began with a body suit with slits in showing a circular eye design pattern poking through the slits. As Pearson moved through the space, the slits determined her movement as she exposed the eyes to the audience. The manipulating movement, twisting and bending creating a specific style of movement. This really gave a sense of eyes watching, always watching.
The peacock costume, was graceful and allowed for Pearson to become someone else. The costume developed gradually, adding the peacock skirt, jacket, hat and gloves. As the movement swept across the space with the suitcases the peacock feathers were presented. The swift movement with the suitcases, entwining and using creative ways to move with the props. Within the cases Pearson took over further props, a branch and a knife. This gave a defensive theme, the movement swung and swiped fending off, as if protecting her identity, protecting herself. The movement throughout remained personal and clear.
The techniques used within the work were vast and included such a variety of methods, such as, singing and inventing new way of moving through a variety of experiences. When performing, Pearson sung, this was really inviting and beautifully executed. It was a pleasure to watch this in performance work and gave a great depth to the overall piece.
Incorporated into the performance, the use of fluid and continuous movement was carried out. Although, this did sometimes conflict and create some contrast in the overall presentation of the performance as it swiftly moved from section to section. The following change in prop and costume was the sheep, again incorporating fluid movement as Pearson moved out of the costumes, seamless transition. The performance further included a video footage, another technique that added to the piece. This allowed for a stunning and natural scene as we followed through a rural setting. It was another greatly executed section of the work. Movement began to develop further as Pearson tip toed through the space, bent knees and slightly curved occasionally adding torso movement. This gave a lovely sense of creation and specific style. A natural section that gave contrast to the theme, especially with the video footage occasionally and very briefly switching between rural and other settings.
The final costume shown was a moth. An added moth presented on the cyclorama gave a flickering and natural atmosphere. The specific lighting and projection allowed for shadowing to take place, giving further technique and theme. A candle was also pictured in the background, a moth to a flame. The performance continued to portray the technology and social media throughout, using her phone and highlighting this theme. Through the idea of a moth to a flame, a sense of following was portrayed, similar to that in social media… following and always wanting to know and see more.
‘How do I get down from here’… an elegant ending that gave power and connection. Having found a location, being put in a specific location, and the need to move but not always knowing how. The solution simple, to just move, a sophisticated and simple but wonderful ending. When looking at the sound used throughout the performance was well chosen and a fabulous collection and collaboration of sounds. This added depth and style to the piece.
The overall performance was truly well received and incorporated a variety of techniques. A skillful performance, with beautiful execution, timing and development. We thank Mary Pearson for her exquisite performance that encouraged thought and progression within the LEAP Dance Festival 2017.