For an admirer of the work of Tmesis theatre, it was interesting to see Yorgos Karamalegos’s Home so soon after managing to catch the return of That’s Amore (the first production from the company he co-founded, working without his involvement).
Seeing these two pieces so close together was a chance to observe just what each of Tmesis – Karamalegos, and Elinor Randle – brought to the table to create such a fascinating whole. Where That’s Amore’s was witty and poignant, and searched for a common humanity, so Home is deeply personal, darker, and a much more abstract work.
And it is a truly international affair, which gives it an exoticness all its own in the gloom of a Liverpool winter; although saying that, Home is a co-production with our own Hope Street Ltd – fittingly, where it all began for Tmesis, and now pivotal in developing and staging this latest incarnation. Performed by Athens-born Karamalegos, fellow Greek performer Despina Sidiropolou, and Russian Tatiana Spivakova (who grew up in Spain and lives in Paris, as she tells the audience), its movement director Pablo Aran Gimeno is one of the main dancers of Pina Bausch Tanzthater.
Inspired by Eurepide’s Medea, the 70 minute performance began with full lights up, ready to break the fourth wall. The whole black box stage was used, costume changes and all props in full view, with one of the company manning a laptop at the back, DJ-style; as the performers seductively promised a space of “no time, no gender, no age”. Short scenes were played out – sometimes confessional, stylish performances and sometimes to the backdrop of cheesy romantic Europop. Karamelegos and Sidiropolou played the lovers, laying themselves bare; Spivakova wound around them, confidence unravelling under too much contemplation.
Home was stylish, artistic and sexy; perplexing, confusing and weird. Think David Lynch meets Marina Abromovic, perhaps; an intriguing blend of style and substance that gave plenty to ponder.
The company will perform Home at London’s Chisenhale Dance Space in January 2016.