7734 - Theatre Review
Jasmine Vardimon’s choreography questions man’s legacy of brutality and creates recurrent images of the holocaust – in 7734 at Sadler’s Wells in Rosebery Avenue, EC1
SADLER’S Wells associate artist Jasmin Vardimon brings her own company to the main stage with 7734 - a dance and movement piece that questions man’s legacy of brutality.
Focusing mainly on recurrent images of the holocaust, 7734 is not one for the faint-hearted.
The set is compromised of a heavy layer of disembodied clothes spread across the stage floor, into which the nine performers bleed with effortless fluidity.
This serves as a constant reminder of the Nazi death camps, and is over-looked by an ever-present watch-tower. Along with austere lighting design and effective use of hand-held follow-spots carried by the cast, 7734 succinctly transforms the crisp Sadler’s Wells auditorium to something altogether more hellish.
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7734 is at its best when orchestrating complex choreographed group sequences. The cast moves as a committed whole, and the choreography is sharp, daring and occasionally witty, (a welcome respite). The energy flags on the spoken sections as the dancers struggle a little with the text, but these moments soon pass and you quickly return to marveling at the ability of this incredibly talented cast.
There is little in 7734 that suggests good will eventually win over evil, and in fact the overall lack of hope can make this tough and sometimes slow watch.
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But perhaps Vardimon does not want 7734 to be a piece that conveniently lets the viewer off the hook with the promise of human redemption? The horrors it depicts are un-ending, and Vardimon’s point, surely, is that mankind constantly fails to learn from his mistakes.
(Why 7734? Type it into a calculator and turn it upside down. Vardimon’s final nod to her themes of perspective and brutality.)
* 7734 is at Sadler’s Wells in Rosebery Avenue, EC1, until Friday, November 26