Saturday, September 29, 2007
By resetting the classic tragedy of Medea in the mode of pop lyrics, modern images, and simple English, Dood Paard (Dead Horse) is trying for the universal. Instead, they're just hitting the accessible, in an at first languorous, later vibrant way. They're removed all sense of the physical from their work--they speak out to the audience with their backs to a figurative wall--and that winds up giving medEia a ghostly quality, appropriately endowed to the chorus they speak as. But I wish the ephemeral slide-show that accompanied this work was more grounded in the words, because it all too often feels like dead air. While the cold and unflinching opening eventually gives way to sad and wistful mourning, and then to a revenge choked with rage, the simple mechanics of the performance keep the work at bay, even as the cast draws ever nearer to the audience.