The Judgment of Paris

This article is from 2008.

The Judgment of Paris

Uninhibited exploration of beauty down the ages from Brooklyn outfit

Brigitte Bardot, Marlene Dietrich, Helen of Troy, Marilyn Monroe: icons each and every one of them, all famed for their beauty. For the Fringe debut of Brooklyn dance team Company XIV, artistic director Austin McCormick plans to lay on a paean to the gorgeous throughout the ages, crafted in dance, theatre and music. The Judgment of Paris juxtaposes the music of Vivaldi, Offenbach, Pergolesi and Dietrich with inspiration from the ode ‘To Helen’ by Edgar Allan Poe and Euripides’ dramatic version of her legend. The titular judgment is effectively the first beauty contest, in which Paris awarded Aphrodite the metaphorical sash and flowers in exchange for Helen.

Company XIV’s pop-meets-classical exploration of the concept results in a decadent melee of the sexy and the humorous: think Annie Lennox’s video for ‘No More I Love You’s’. Under the slick gloss of camp opulence, McCormick strives to show something beyond surface values. ‘I make no distinction between beauty and ugliness in my work,’ he says. ‘For me, true moments of beauty are when a performer is uninhibited and allows the audience to truly see them, not what they want you to see, but what and who they are.’
Demarco Roxy Art House, Roxburgh Place, 0871 750 0077, 4—25 Aug (not 10, 17), 8.15pm, £9—£10 (£7—£8). Previews 31 Jul—3 Aug, £5.

The Judgement of Paris

  • 4 stars

Saucy, gilded reinterpretation that uses Baroque dance and can can to turn the Greek myth into a meditation on femininity. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'

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