(un)written · (un)heard
Ellandar and 45North’s (un)written • (un)heard is as intimate and compelling as it is starkly beautiful. Exploring the stories and experiences of a wholly unique World War I character this dance theatre show is a spark of light for the lost and longing.
Throughout (un)written • (un)heard we journey with three distinct versions of the protagonist at different stages of her adventure to the front lines.
The enthusiastic mimicry of Cher Nicolette Ho, the tense grappling from Iona Kirk, and the resonant strength of Jordan Ajadi compound to create a diverse and seemingly boundless Dorothy who is untamed, dedicated, tortured, and determined in equal measure.
Relationships with Dorothy’s khaki accomplices are formed through playful and dynamic movement sequences that drive us to the front lines as we are immersed in an adventure that challenges all the romantic notions of going to war. Larger than life characters are brought to the stage through bold and at times comical gestures that breathe life and laughter into what could be a somber piece.
The use of period dress, costumes, and props further the sense of time, place, and play as we encounter abstract cavalry, uncanny spotlights, and stylised uniforms that build a mask to protect our Dorothy on her way to the front.
The distinctive and yet cohesive base costumes evoke the clinical, the feminine, the time, and the personal shapes of each face of Dorothy Lawrence. As the performers move seamlessly between characters and seasons the costumes serve to blend and guide the eye along with them.
Exploring the cost of pursuing out of reach stories and losing oneself in the search for a greater truth this show could be abstract in the extreme but the closeness of bodies, the earnestness of movement, and the connections between performers and spectators lend every moment a weight that tugs at the heart strings.
When the pages detailing these hard one moments are lost and the story unwritten is it possible to restore and rebuild from within the rubble?
(un)written • (un)heard beautifully expresses a life and longing that insists on being remembered.