Gaza/Blaenannerch reveals Ladd’s personal reflections on the parallels between the disruption of nationhood and the disappearance of identity in the similarly sized countries of Wales and what used to be Palestine, and the ensuing dispersal of their people, scattering them well beyond their ancestral homeland. The idea for this sequence of expressive and intelligent dance pieces was sparked by the unmanned drones currently tested near the home of Ladd and the Welsh village of Blaenannerch.
In front of a screen that moves from slate to blood red, Eddie switches continents and moods, from the contemplative, the impish and playful to the tortured, the lost, the flailing as she uses her body as both storyteller and teaching aid. She wriggles and writhes, she clambers and climbs, occasionally throwing in facts verbally, or with the scratch of chalk on blackboards. Tone and emotional drive is further provided by Philip Glass’s ethereal String Quartet No.5. Simplistic yet bold symbolism is layered through the work with the shifting of stones - Eddie scrutinises the diaspora and serfdom they represent, carries the weight of it on her shoulders, gathering the flotsam and jetsam of people moved by shifting political tides.
Eddie Ladd has made a name for herself as one of Wales’ premier performers, producing poignant and provocative political work that elegantly presents Wales to the wider world, and draws the world to Wales’ backyard. Strong direction from Judith Roberts has tightened her new directions and language, resulting in this powerful and important multi-lingual hybrid of dance and physical theatre. As Ladd repeats: ‘What happens next is what matters.’
Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, October 22-23, then touring until 9 November
- Running time: