Review: Pinocchio at The Lowry

Before it’s life as a Disney cartoon I didn’t know much about the story of Pinocchio, in fact it is the 19th Century Italian novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio, which Jasmin Vardimon’s dance theatre piece explores.

The piece itself is a combination of the darkness routed in the original story and the magic of the tale with which we are now familiar. Through a framework of jumbled furniture the dancers fearlessly roll, dive and fly to create the storms of the ocean, the bustling of Italian streets and even the growing nose of Pinocchio.
Pinocchio herself, dancer Maria Doulgeri, is the perfect casting – she constantly pushes her body to the limits of snapping with a mesmerising ease, as the puppet she is the perfect balance between comprehension and confusion of the surrounding world.
Vardimon’s choreography is often simply genius, the piece is narrated by an omniscient face constructed by articulated hand movements against an otherwise black stage and Gepeto’s workshop established by a carefully controlled chain of dancers rotating in and out of the floor momentarily halting as though clockwork.
I left the theatre feeling delighted, perplexed and wanting to watch the show all over again.
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