What is a man to you? Rosanna Rothery found this dance theatre piece by Benjamin Wisken evocative and provocative

Gently he circumnavigates the light, his body open, playful and fluid; his face curious. The gentle glow is soft and warm. It seems to compel , comfort and invite the occasional caress.

Next time we see him with the light it’s surrounded by wooden bricks – the kind young boys traditionally build boats and aeroplanes out of. He’s petulant, angry, his body language more twisted, defensive – the gestures more tortured and repressed. One by one he picks up a brick and reads the messages written on them: ‘boys don’t cry’, ‘man up’ ‘pussy’ ‘take it like a man’ . Angrily he flings each piece of indoctrination across the floor, bitterly dismantling the wall of repression surrounding the soft luminosity.

Benjamin Wisken’s offering at this year’s fringe is part contemporary dance, part installation and part chat. He is concerned that no-one is asking the questions: why do young men turn violent? Why are 85 per cent of perpetrators of domestic violence men? Why are most mass shootings carried out by men?

This was only the second time he had performed this piece Softly Falling….my hope is that it continues to evolve and act as a catalyst.

Sent from Outlook

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