As the audience takes their seats, two feet poke out from beneath the curtain.
In hindsight, it’s the first trick they play on us, lulling us with this image of a human body involved in the ordinary business of lying down.
Things get complicated fast. The single figure is joined by a cast of about 40 on a vast stage filled with discarded party streamers. It’s as if we’ve arrived too late for a fancy dress party. There’s an astronaut, a king, an assortment of other costumes.
Just as quickly as it appears, the party is replaced by a stunning feat of physical derring-do: a body standing on top of a body, standing on top of another body.
A great height, and a stomach-dropping fall.
For the next 80 minutes, Leviathan progresses through a melange of bodies moving through space. Transforming shapes, they morph from humans to totems to mythical creatures (perhaps the leviathans of the title) back to humans. From extraordinary to ordinary and back again.
Each sequence stands on its own while also seeming to build on what came before. At its most basic level, Leviathan is a series of bodies climbing up and climbing down, falling and getting up again, but the work’s cumulative effect evokes an almost contemplative, trance-like reverie in the viewer…
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