Mass Effect by HIMHERIT Productions, is an ensemble arranged performance that pulls on the concept of repetition, peer pressure, group dynamics and outliers throughout the choreography. The choreography is best described as high energy, dance exercise movements placed in repetitive form. The movements of the 5 main ensemble artists varied in levels of intensity, from gentle grooving, walking and jumping to high paced running. The cast push physical limitations, exhaustion, motivation and group dynamics.
The choreography is repetitive yet varying in combination and arrangement. As a performer to remember each nuanced section would have been a great challenge during the rehearsal stages of this piece. Although the performance is called Mass Effect, there are constantly at least one outlier doing some alternative choreography to the rest of the group. This created interesting focal points for the audience. As a method of creating rhythm and the performers own music, numbers and sounds were spoken aloud in unfamiliar patterns/combinations with overlapping voices. It was a unique, creative way to incorporate rhythm and sense of beat to accompany the choreography.
Due to the high intensity of the movement and physical exhaustion required to complete the full-length performance, the artists had short moments of pause to fully display to the audience the level of exhaustion.
These moments took place in the form of standing in a line at the front of the stage, adjusting clothing, taking drink breaks, or taking off items of clothing on the sides of the stage.
The costumes on display were exercise wear, shorts, t-shirts, trainers etc. As the performance continued artists began taking off a layer of clothing at a time, leaving the cast completely nude onstage. The nudity in the performance was quite unexpected and I was left contemplating its addition to the performance.
The first 20 minutes of the performance was interesting with the constantly changing ensemble formations, facial expressions, varying energy intensities and artist made soundscape. After the 20-minute mark, the choreography become predictable and very repetitive which made remaining focused challenging as an audience. In the last 15 minutes of the performance a few members of the community who were interested in being part of the performance were brought onstage, after rehearsal. This would be a great opportunity for someone to have small insight into the performing side of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Mass Effect by HIMHERADIT, is an intriguing and unique performance experience.