#JeSuis (In Progress) 
Aakash Odedra Company 
Curve Theatre, Leicester

There is something captivating and beautiful about watching a dance piece which is in progress, isn't the complete product. Being part of this process for a company is important, it enables conversation about the piece going forwards and what space is still there to fill. I am definitely drawn into work which is political and challenging for it's audience, #JeSuis definitely does that. Aakash Odedra is an award-winning choreographer who presents this new work alongside a exceptionally talented ensemble of Turkish dancers.  

The piece is powerful in it's delivery of exploring displacement, fear and the power of the collective in a post-truth era. Drawing on personal stories of conflict, media manipulation, displacement and identity allows us to question our stance and understanding of a world that seems more obvious to us than ever before. It's title follows on from the attacks in Paris back in January 2015, a hashtag #JeSuisCharlie became a symbol for freedom expression as well as a sign of camaraderie for the lives lost on that day. 
The dance piece really draws on the different levels of speeds, articulation in the body but also moments of complete flurry as rapid movement overtook the dancer's body and was utterly breathless. The scope in their movement was incredible and memorising, Aakash really enhanced the individual's flare and natural ability to fill the dance space. 

Some specific parts of the production were slightly disjointed or uncomfortable to watch. However, I did think the distressing movements captured the emotion and harsh reality of the themes that Aakash was drawing on within the piece. It felt like there wasn't a specific story that brought the entire dance together but in fact an individual insight to the various people within the production, with their own emotions noticeable throughout their body and face. They really managed to draw on so much in such a little space of time in the production. It's layers of soundscape, including cries of various political views including Trump, props and lighting really helps to emphasis not only the space in which the dance is set in but the various emotions drawn on too. The soundscape alone is a reminder of modernistic views of the world we're currently living in without giving the idea that you've heard it all before and it's boring but in fact that it's as relevant as anything to be heard. 

It is noted that the title for the ensemble project of AOC has come to play tribute to the notion that life matters in every corner of the world

I'm thoroughly excited to see how this work progresses and is received by it's audiences as it undertakes it's tour. This work-in-progress version is being showcased at a variety of different venues over the upcoming months. It will then be developed further in Autumn 2017 and Spring 2018 with a final residency, before it's world premiere at The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi on 7-9 February 2018.

You can find more about Aakash's work, including news about the upcoming tour of #JeSuis by heading over to the website here

thanks for reading,
*I was gifted this ticket in exchange for a review, but all words and opinions are my own.