• Sep 23,2013
  • In Review
  • By Niloy Thakur

Justitia,Jasmin Vardimon Company, Peacock Theatre, 17-22 September

After its previous performances in 2007 and 2009 and touring internationally, Jasmin Vardimon’s  Justitia returns to Sadlers Wells to wow audience yet another time! Justitia is a cutting edge piece of art presented through a combination of dance, physical theatre and spoken narrative set to a selection of heart wrenching  music. An imposing court scene begins this show and takes the audience through a series of a court trial sequences which tries Mimi,a girl from Hong Kong (Aoi Nakamura). Love swept her off her feet when she met Charlie (Luke Burrough), now an ex - military squadron who was then posted in Hong Kong. They met in tumultuous times of war, hearts met and they fell in love. Promises to spend the rest of their lives together followed. Marriage is proposed which Mimi reciprocate and accept. Love, promise and dreams bring Mimi thousands of miles across but she ends up in a court room fighting a case to prove her innocence. She is defending herself, that she is not the murderer of her husband’s friend Seth (Paul Blackman). What is the real story? Did Mimi kill?  Was it self defence or was it just an accident? Was there someone else involved who could have been the real murderer.......Based on this scenario, Justitia sets out to pose a series of questions to its audience. Viewers are placed as the jury and evidences and information pour in through scenes that are replayed from different points of view. Powerful movements, physical theatre and vocal text unfold a new perspective each time and suggest a new reality. Justitia explores multiple layers of human life. It reflects on human emotions, judgement, thought, perceptions, actions, and consequences. It is an anatomy of relationships, dissecting incidents that are best not confronted, but are majorly unavoidable. The production sees strong performance by the dancers who are versatile with their superb acting skills and vocal precision. Each carrying depth of personality that is true to the character they are playing. They narrate an experience, as opposed to merely dancing through the performance. The script by Rebecca Lenkiewicz is sharp and intelligent and passionately adds texture to the piece. But a thought can be leant in considering the volume of the text which is overwhelming at times. Vardimon's choreography is commendable with a special mention of the scenes where the two friends Charlie and Seth share their time of joyous camaraderie. The scenes that portray Mimi’s involvement with Seth are strong and real, especially Mimi’s brutal and torturous rape By Seth . The set is a circular rotating piece containing two major backdrops, amongst other bits and pieces. They are a court room and a family lounge where the actual incident takes place. The story fluidly oscillates between these settings. It brings in the element of editing to add dimension and impact. There is constant motion that engages the audience emotionally and intellectually. Through Justitia, Vardimon upholds the notion of guilt and understanding of justice in an honest, daring and compelling presentation. She offers various perspectives arising out of a trial that leads to questions in the mind of the audience who leave the house pondering over a befitting answer! Protima Chatterjee

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