Maria Caruso’s Metamorphosis at the Lyric Theatre.


It’s not every day you find a solo dance show being performed at, not only a London theatre, but at Shaftesbury Avenues Lyric Theatre. Understandably I was rather sceptical about whether Metamorphosis has the appeal for an audience that is used to the biggest spectacles and daring feats of entertainment London’s West End has thrived upon. However, I stepped in with an open mind for high art with this performance.

The setting of the stage was refreshingly simple, a black box stage with four different coloured dresses hung as if floating in their dim spotlights; Quite the juxtaposition from the grandeur of the Lyrics architecture and shining gold interior design. The lighting design by Brant T Murray was similarly simple too, nothing overly complicated with smooth, unnoticeable transitions that enhanced the show rather than distract.

With any dance show of course, the music must play an important role. Created by Nils Frahm, Kevin Keller and Garth Stevenson, was a masterstroke of soundscape wondery. The music fully supported Caruso’s performance with the emotional drive and surround sound immersiveness that was incredibly impressive.

And then we arrive at the performance… well what can i say, it is not often you get a chance to witness an absolute masterclass from one of the top dance practitioners of the world. The power and emotion that Maria Caruso brings to the different character traits, symbolised by the four dresses present on stage was a delight to the eye. Her whole body would extend and contort in ways that would leave the mind boggled and the heart empathetic to all the character traits being expressed to her audience. This is a performance that I’ve read to be autobiographical of her life’s transitions and you can certainly identify that this performance I had the pleasure to witness was the life work of dancing’s greats.

If one were to take a trip to see Caruso’s Metamorphosis, my only advice would be to read the synopsis carefully as dance does lead to one’s own interpretation. Though the performance was strong and conveyed the emotions well, the storyline did tend to get lost on a few of us in the audience. However, I also believe this is what the show’s strongest aspect is. Caruso gives you the power of relation, she allows you to draw from your own life experiences through her performance and relate it to hers. That is the power of her work here and I was delighted to follow that journey.

An evening of high art from the very best is certainly something to experience.

Review by Jacob Hart

Metamorphosis is also on 4th July at the Lyric Theatre. You can find out more and book here.

If you like this review you might also like my reviews of The Nutcracker by Matthew Bourne, Here Come The Boys and Moulin Rouge.

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