Company Chameleon, Beauty Of The Beast.
I’ve just about caught my breath after experiencing Company Chameleon’s ferocious ‘Beauty Of The Beast’, first performed at The Lowry in October, 2014, and touring Autumn, 2015. Choreographed by Chameleon’s co-artistic director, Anthony Missen, the all-male cast blend humour, fierce choreography, intensity, physicality, & provoke emotion in a whirlwind 60 minute performance. One might think juggling such a varied array of emotions & styles may take away as much from the production as it gives, but in fact it did quite the opposite. This imaginative story based largely on gang mentality & dynamics, as well as the animal that drives masculinity, is oddly appealing & addictive – coupled with the raw & aggressive nature of the superb choreography. Violent yet beautiful in equal measure, Beauty Of The Beast will make you laugh, make you cry, & drag you through every stage in-between without warning.
Following an all male group of friends jumping across revealing scenarios & situations, individual strengths & weaknesses begin to show, as each member’s character is tested. With the help of Yaron Abulafia’s brilliantly effortless lighting & a superb disposition of music, the transition between powerful solos, intimate physical duets, & an animalistic scene – in which Lee Claydon ‘walks’ Gulgec & Brahmania, like they are ravenous guard dogs – is faultless. And as the story unveils itself, we find out how far peer pressure can push each man in the fight to be accepted. Wrestling between masculinity, shame, friendship & destruction, the emotional finale will astound you. Missen’s choreography is a true balance between Beauty & Beast.
by Chris Connolly
“Their creative vision is outstanding, the visual strength of their work is impressive. Go & see Company Chameleon perform, you won’t be disappointed.” ★★★★★
– Deb Ashby, Director of Dance Manchester.
Beauty Of The Beast was nominated for a Robert Robson Award for Dance at the Manchester Theatre Awards 2015.