Ceri’s whirlwind reviews – Part 1
Gothenburg Fringe 2023 in review: Headpace, AEMIA and Rembody - Queer Dreams and Resistance
For the second year in a row, Ceri Taylor was one of our star volunteers at the festival and made sure to catch a variety of performances during the week to compile a series of reviews. Enjoy the first batch below.
Gothenburg Fringe 2023 kicked off in style with an opening ceremony and our first preview night at a light and airy bar full of music and dancing and the perfect Fringe feeling. Unless you’re like me and you go to a brewery to order a glass of wine but that’s another story.
Our opening ceremony was coupled with a beautiful exhibition and performance piece Dew of Rebirth held at Slakthuset, a brand-new Gothenburg Fringe venue. And as an old repurposed slaughterhouse, it’s totally haunted.
It was at this venue that Mari Vittradotter’s dance piece Headspace was presented, and the wonderfully macabre setting proved to be the perfect backdrop for the characters who stand at the crossroads between reality and psychosis.
One dancer sitting in a chair, one strapped to a table and a mystery creature wrapped up in a sheet turned into a rather jarring ride between dancing clowns, yoga techniques and a hallucination/fashion show happening in superman’s bedroom.
This show focused on paranoid schizophrenia but the overall goal is to destigmatise all mental health diagnoses and pour one raindrop into the ocean which is the mental health spectrum. The show carried a very important message which was reinforced by a quick information session regarding charities, organisations, and other things people can do to offer support to those who are affected.
If you have a fear of clowns, sit at the back.
A fairly recent phenomenon that has taken the self-care fanatics by storm is the sensory deprivation tank. You may have seen a picture of one of those weird white beans filled with warm water in which to lie back, close the lid and be transported into a soft and floaty parallel universe, designed to relax, soothe and inspire.
If you don’t have the time or the funds to head down to the local spa, AEMIA by Emiliano Sacripanti provided a suitable substitution.
Set in the dimly lit back room of Slakthuset, the multi-sensory performance featuring videography, vocal performance and detailed soundscape lulls the audience into a hypotonic frequency between sweet dreams and waking life. Grabbing a seat on the comfortable dance mat allowed you to take the artist’s advice and lie back during the performance, feeling the full effect of AEMIA’s artistic talents melting away the outside world.
If multi-sensory musical journeys are your thing, Slakthuset came through again with REMBODY - Queer Dreams and Resistance, presenting a show in a similar format with a dash of extra queerness for those who might see themselves reflected in REMBODY’s work. The multi-faceted artist takes the audience on a journey through gender, drag, queer youth and of course, queer joy.