The Subterraneans

New Athenaeum Theatre, 24 The Octagon, Dunedin

15/03/2018 - 17/03/2018

Dunedin Fringe 2018

Production Details

The Subterraneans, based on a series of short stories from the book Sub-Terra by Chilean writer Baldomero Lillo, is an amalgamation of storytelling techniques, physical theatre, stylized choreography and bilingual text (English and Spanish). Through the narration of stories of miner workers, this physical theatre piece brings to the stage vivid images of life and death in the Underground.

Runtime 1 hr

Ticket price range $20, concession $15

Booking details

Physical , Dance-theatre , Dance ,

1 hour

Community struggles

Review by Hannah Molloy 17th Mar 2018

The Subterraneans by The Collective is based on a Chilean writer’s book of short stories, Sub-Terra, about mine-workers, their place in society, and their struggles. It is very abstract, the costuming providing clues in the form of torn jeans, work boots and singlets, and it could be about any community’s struggles.

It’s mainly performed by Moira Fontin whose energy is huge and her spoken word, both in English and Spanish, arresting. The other three dancers seem to be bit parts, spending a lot of time curled fetally while Fontin tells the story around them. The soundscape is discordant, punctuated by Fontin’s words and her breath.

It’s a mesmerising piece, for all its abstraction. I had deliberately not sought out any information about the premise of the work because I had enjoyed Fontin in The Collective’s other Fringe Festival piece, The Motorway. This was perhaps a mistake on my part as I did spend a lot of time fitting narratives around the movement rather than just absorbing it. Sofia Kalogeropoulou’s choreography is thought-provoking and Fontin’s performance is powerful and provocative.


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