Absolutely love love love “Medusa” by Jasmin Vardimon Company tonight. Two more performances at Sadler’s Wells through Wednesday. Go see the show!!!

I was blown away by the company’s production of “Pinocchio” last year. I’ve been both excited yet nervous about tonight. Will the new work bring the same level of creativity, intensity, playfulness, and stunning technical execution as last year — especially when the new creation is an abstract concept?

Medusa surpassed Pinocchio at every level.

I interpreted the show as centering around men’s desire for power, control, and exploitation — over women, over the environment, and even over mythical creations — and the resulting damage. The piece is dark and emotional, speaks to current events, and challenges the audience to think twice about the complex, unspoken, or forgotten root cause of the societal issues today.

Thank you, Jasmin and the dancers Jasmine Orr, Olga Clavel, Patricia Hastewell Puig, André Rebelo, Lucija Božičević, Silke Muys, Kieran Shannon, Joshua Smith, for giving us an absolutely incredible experience tonight.

Memorable scenes.

“The Housewife” and how men assert psychological, emotional, physical control over women. The girl on stage is a pretty inanimate doll to be dressed up, to be accessorized for men, to be waltzed (and tossed) around by men, until she is eventually transformed into a housewife. Even in her adult form, her body is still owned by men — who extended their arms, reached inside of her vagina as they pleased, and ripped the fetus right out of her as they wished. In the background of the housewife scene are two young women out and about — trying to enjoy a day at the beach while wearing a gas mask to survive.

During the post-show chat, Jasmin explained that most people remember only the ending of the Greek mythology where Medusa is a terrifying monster. However, she was not born that way. Medusa was once a beautiful maiden, but was raped by the God of the Sea in Athena’s Temple. Her later form came from her anger and her rage, yet the early part of her story is often omitted or even forgotten.

Pinocchio by Jasmin Vardimon

Pinocchio by the Jasmin Vardimon Company at Sadler’s Wells was incredible this evening.

What is it to be human? To dream, to strive, and to love. Tonight I felt the aspiration, sadness, loneliness, and love… both on stage and deep inside myself as I laughed and cried with Pinocchio.

Absolutely loved this piece of dance theatre: a wonderful choreography that brought a marionette to life, and even more amazing dancers who executed the movements.

So stunning was the movement quality that I had to rub my eyes multiple times to truly believe I was seeing real people. Nobody could possibly move like so?! No dancers could possibly partner so well and be so coordinated?!?!?! Especially memorable scenes include: chapter 1 when Pinocchio first came alive, chapter 4 at the Marionette Theatre (insane puppet work whereby two dancers controlled a third “puppet” dancer), chapter 6 at the Inn (especially the human ceiling fan and the two lovers who were portrayed by four feet), and chapter 13 when Pinocchio was taunted and bullied (and when I cried and others audibly gasped). Other beautiful moments: the Fairy and the start/ending scene with a chain of dancing toys.

Creative set design that floated in the air. Expressive lighting design that enhanced several key scenes.

Wish I had come yesterday and seen the show a second time.