Words: Fiona Christensen
Photographs: Cue Pix
Initially I was drawn to this production by its fantastic poster and secondly by its combination of dance, song and drama. I have always admired people who can sing, dance and act – the triple threat – and the cast of Jilted, under co-direction of Nathalie Vijver and Debbie Turner, pull it together nicely.
The piece begins with a strong image of a figure wrapped up in material, matching the image on the poster, standing poised in the shadows. Slowly he begins to unravel, and then all at once – a symbol of how love in a marriage begins its end. From here the piece moves fluidly from one dance piece to the next, interspersed with song and spoken word as they play out the act of being jilted.
The piece falls short near the middle with the contemporary couple dances where I found myself fidgeting and getting restless. The choreography seemed repetitive like the monotonous French voice-over that plays throughout each dance. The singing also came out a little weak at times in the Fiona Apple covers, with her strength in vocals not quite being matched. However the fact that the singers were also dancing rigorous numbers before and after each song made the singing commendable.
The group picked the piece up again after the downfall in the middle with fantastic large group dances with great choreography and upbeat music, waking the crowd back up and drawing the cheers, ending on a high note with an American Church inspired scene that was catchy and comedic. Their timing was good and the forms created by the dancers created a lovely image.
The show is a little long and the theme of marriage a little strange for these young performers from The Cape Academy of Performing Arts but overall the show pulls together wonderfully, matching a marriage in its ups and downs, and providing a good balance of tenderness, heartbreak, hope and happiness at the end.