Death City

High-octane physical story-telling with super tricks and fascinating visual elements

★★★
dance review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Death City
Published 16 Aug 2017

With a sudden explosion, the six performers of Park Gol Box are each possessed by colour. Yellow loves pink, but pink feels closer to purple. Black wants to kill them all and strip them of their colour, turning them into fighting zombie slaves. Green and blue are comic bystanders and, in a whirl of chromatic costume transformations and martial arts manga, the story ends not with a traditional Western happy ending, but with something more uncertain and interesting. 

What have we just witnessed? I know I was transfixed throughout, invigorated by the stimulating soundtrack and flinching from the thumps of bodies hurtled to the floor. The stylised violence of a manga cartoon is translated through a combination of dance and mime, infused with breakdancing, psychedelic lighting, and tricking – including the exceptional Hungry.K as Yellow.

The entire company are on point rhythmically, and are strong movers about the simple but otherworldly set created by design team Inhee Park and Doeash. Venue constraints have sadly limited the special effect use and blacked out scene changes are longer than they should be, but the choreography is clear and clean, emphasised with melodramatic emotions and comic book grunts and roars. 

An odd but charming introduction from production manager Young Geun suggests that the story is intended to have more allegorical content than is evident in the performance, but the Korean show stands out amongst other narrative dance productions this Fringe by sheer dint of its exaggerated novelty and energetic delivery. Odds on there's nothing else like it anywhere in town.