Dance, Contemporary and experimental
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A whirlwind of kicks and flicks, ‘Jump’ combines Tae Kwon Do and dance with a heavy layer of slapstick. It’s high-energy and utterly silly, with little plot but plenty of flips. There’s enough to entertain adults, but it’s the kids in the audience who will have the widest eyes and loudest giggles.
‘Jump’s’ Korean cast play an unconventional family of martial arts experts: it includes the imaginatively named Son-in-Law, whose supernatural gymnastic abilities come to life when his glasses are removed and he transforms from timid nerd to string-vested hunk. Played by Yeon-Soo Kim, he’s the most skilful of the bunch. The action’s intercut with Old Man, who shuffles about on stage with his walking stick, his comic timing rousing the crowd to playful, delighted heckles.
Ye Gam Theatre’s production has little dialogue: spot-on sound effects, exaggerated facial expressions and movements take its place. The show is at its best when the acrobatics take centre stage: the slow-motion scenes are effective and the finale exciting, as men leap up the sides of the stage and backflip from great heights. Less impressive are some of the mistimed group dances and a glow-in-the-dark scene with barely lit-up props. The plot often jars: at one point, Mother attempts to seduce the reluctant Father by straddling him aggressively on the floor. It also seems strange that, despite their martial-arts abilities, the comedy-robber duo pull out a gun.
Odd storylines aside, the skill and flexibility of the performers is remarkable. Their ‘Matrix’-esque moves pulsate with unfaltering vivacity and make for an engaging watch. So if you’re into clowning around, energetic craziness and you’ve got children, then ‘Jump’ will leave you on a high.

By: Lucie Horton


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