If you’re looking for something alternative and introspective, choreographer Lexi Meier’s collaborative piece Fabric of the Universe provides an opportunity for personal reflection in an immersive space. Set up in a double story venue, the set consists of textures and fabrics crocheted into a web into which the audience can step and roam around.
Meier won the AHa Award in 2015 for her piece Slipping Lapping Slap and has just returned from the Amsterdam Fringe where she toured with Piet Se Optel Goed. She completed her MA in Choreography from Rhodes University. “I’ve been winding down and reclaiming the making process,” she says.
Intended as an interpretive experience for a participatory audience the meaning of the experience is not fixed, your understanding is your own. For Meier the piece has been a time of meditation and reflection.
Interested in the way her materials inform her choreography, Meier has reinterpreted movement into light, sound and texture. “Things like materials and the design of the space often inform how one moves,” she says. “I like cracking stuff open and looking at how you make work.”
As a space of introspection the senses of touch, sight and sound are engaged in what the production’s composer Geoff Smuts terms a “transportative experience”. Working with Sean Davenport who is experimenting with 3D sound mapping, Smuts uses his experience as a soundscape artist to create multiple levels within the sound, combining droning vocals and looped guitar with fluttering sounds overlaid, to particular effect that you’ll have to go to the show to experience.
Meyrick Tree offers a monologue on universal insecurities as part of the audience member’s movement through the installation. “I had to really go into my head and look at the ways that we speak to ourselves, and lie to ourselves,” he says. “The internal self becomes a dark and fucking hilarious place.”
Barefoot and drifting through the space, audience members can climb on the rig, do yoga or simply meditate in the spaces, discovering new aspects on the journey through the installation. While it may not appeal to the aesthetic of all festival-goers, the show is strangely affecting for even the most cynical participants.
Oh, and don’t forget to look out of the window upstairs.
Note from the Director: There has been a problem with the box office bookings, so if you try to book and are told that the how is fully booked, please just come through, there are 25 places available in each performance.
By Chelsea Haith
This 360° video was created with a Ricoh Theta S 360° video camera, kindly shared with us by the folks at Social Weaver. Sign up to one of their free workshops at Fest and learn how to make videos like this.