Review by Ely King
Award-winning dancer and choreographer Maria Angelica Caruso brings her world-renowned solo show Metamorphosis to the West End for two nights only.
Without context, you may be left a little perplexed by the performance of Metamorphosis. Based on Caruso's own experiences but broadened to be more universal, it is described as a spiritual and powerful journey through life's many transitions
The show itself is a beautiful and intriguing experience, Caruso is a genuine storyteller and her passion to perform is clear to see from the moment she steps onstage. As this is dance theatre, there is no set, no speech, no singing etc. so don’t go and expect the story to be spelled out to you.
Throughout the performance Caruso tries on three separate dresses, each eliciting a different emotion to the others. From a long black dress having her clawing and screaming, to a short red number where she sauntered a salsa across the stage. Again, even though I am not entirely sure what each dress represented, I was genuinely interested to see what each dress would mean and began to make up imaginary scenarios that would fit the narrative.
Between each dress, Caruso wrapped herself in a large sheet of nude fabric that acted like a comfort blanket and section of safety from the visceral emotions caused by the dress. The act of repeatedly returning to where she felt most comfortable was a very relatable trope.
Trained performers will surely appreciate this performance but even non dancers like myself will find plenty to enjoy here. In a post-show talk-back, Caruso said “even though I have my plan for what the show should mean, it’s up for interpretation. If you get a different story from it then that’s great.”
What I got from the performance was seeing someone reliving moments of their lives and growing to accept who they have become and what got them there, yet still a knowledge that sometimes staying in your comfort zone is okay too. A lady a few seats down from me interpreted each dress as a lover and thus, Caruso was reliving significant romances in her life. It’s really quite interesting to see what each person takes from the show.
It’s clear that Caruso focuses a lot on the emotion and the storytelling, rather than doing the most daring and outlandish moves - which I appreciate. If I wanted to see over-the-top dancing I’d go and watch a recital.
Metamorphosis is a journey, told by dance, and featuring a stunning score. Tickets start at only £25 and honestly, if you’re free on that night and are looking for something to do, I’d say give it a go for sure. You might find yourself surprised at how much you enjoyed it.
Metamorphosis plays one further show at the Lyric Theatre on Monday 4th July at 8pm. Tickets from nimaxtheatres.com
Photos by Jeronimo Gomes