The human body is well and truly a temple, the amount of functions it carries out is an absolute marvel, from the brain sending various body parts a series of messages in a split second to that wonderful chemical, adrenaline fuelling fight or flight situations, the anatomy continues amaze.
In the case of Supernatural, the human body is placed on a pedestal, the main focus of the performance being sexual desire. Dancers Simone Aughterlony and Antonija Livingstone present a brash performance art piece, peeling away any semantics from sexual interactions.
Walking into the performance space, the audience automatically become spectators to Aughterlony and ad Livingstone’s intense, brooding world. Chopping wood in a mysterious forest, strength and tension simmer in a melting pot of sexual instinct, this convention, a motif that litters the evening with metaphorical grounding of masculinity, desire and frustration. The pink flooring breaks up the mystique of the forest, a component of the evening that alludes to the female form, a subtle character of the piece that has an omniscient presence.
Supernatural is smart in its metaphorical referencing, alluding to either the themes of masculinity or femininity via staging or props. The piece is absolutely gregarious in its graphic sexual sequences, unapologetic even, and this is a quality that most definitely breaks down theatrical barriers and gives the duo their distinct theatrical footprint. Both performers definitely re-shape any preconceptions of narrative and throw the rule book out of the window. Aughterlony and Livingstone intentionally fill the evening with unpolished movement sequences, a statement that declares the human body as being run by its basic instincts, giving the piece a down to earth quality. The airs and graces that we place upon ourselves during social situations is only a temporary state, there is no running away from instinct.
The piece is not at all for the faint hearted, and I myself am left uncomfortable by the performance, it is a challenging watch indeed. Hahn Rowe‘s eclectic soundscape is something else. This in itself could hold a theatre space all of its own. From the chipping of wood, the trickling of water, to the tear the roof down ring of the electric guitar, Supernatural is elevated to becoming a theatrical experience that whether liked or not is one that will not be forgotten in a hurry. A tough watch, but a show that leaves me thinking of a range of themes. 3/5
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Supernatural was shown at the Chelsea Theatre from Friday 20th until Saturday 21st November as part of this year’s SACRED Festival. For more information on Simone Aughterlony and Antonija Livingstone, visit here…