Merciless dada-like theatre

Roughhouse

Richard Siegal, Ballet of difference, Ensemble Schauspiel Köln

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Roughhouse could be characterised as an edgy, Dadaesque comic. Richard Siegal, the artistic director of Ballet of Difference, hurls text and movement together in this critical look at the 21st-century media world in which the meaning of both violence and truth have become absurdly ambiguous. The cast of nine dancers and actors furiously hurtle themselves through an avalanche of words and gestures with breakneck, slapstick timing. The title Roughhouse is derived from the term ‘roughhousing’, describing the manner of play in which children are socialised to responsibly express agression. In Roughhouse, the dancers and actors are all placed equally on unstable footing, each venturing out of their comfort zone to unleash language as mercilessly as they do their own bodies.

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