Motherland Shocks Audiences At MSU

Presented in the Alexander Kasser Theater with the Vincent Dance Theater, 'Motherland' recently played at Montclair State University. Although the performance was a bit unusual, it helped prove that Kasser offers something different for people of all tastes.

Motherland is quiet interesting.

The basic premise of the show as to poke fun at sexual stereotypes and the maturing stages of both men and women.

In the beginning of each segment of the show, a woman walked on to the stage with a wine bottle filled with fake blood, threw some onto the all white backdrop, stood in front of the ink blot or the “blood stain” and lifted her dress to have the appearance as if she was menstruating. Enter downstage right, a woman that stood, glanced at the audience and then fainted into a pile of dirt. These peculiar segways into each performance were foreshadowing the performance to come.

Four beautiful girls singing karaoke
© Andrey Popov | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Aiming to play on sexual stereotypes, this British musical was slightly difficult to follow.  There were five men and five women; one of the women was a young girl who appeared to be the only sense of normalcy throughout the piece. Whenever a particularly strange scene took place, she would often wander onto the stage and glance.

The girl did not speak often, although her presence was perceived to be young and untainted by the scandal of sexual maturity. Towards the beginning of the piece, one of the women covered herself in dirt and it remained on the stage. Shortly following that segment, another one of the women slowly made her way to the dirt, laid down in it and was promptly joined by a male cast mate. The rest of the cast (excluding the young girl) gathered around this couple and cheered them on.

Although the show was a bit strange, Motherland did, however, have a colorful cast in regards to their varying backgrounds. The variety in age was one of the few elements that was easily communicated to the audience.  The age ranged from a 12-year-old girl to even elderly couples. At one point in the performance when interpretive dance was taking place the young girl walked on stage and asked her cast mate, “What are you doing?”

Even though some audience members were confused by the performance, others were extremely pleased. One audience member smiled at the end of the performance and said, “That was frighteningly beautiful”.

Motherland was an interesting performance since British arts and humor translates differently in American culture. The program for the show indicated this was the US premiere of Motherland. Although it was a bit unusual, it just proves that Kasser offers something for people of all art tastes.

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