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Breaking down barriers to cross borders

The Award winning dance company, Protein, gave us the original version of Border Tales back in 2013 but it has now been revived at a time when national and world events have made its key messages ever more poignant. The production is a satirical exploration of multiculturalism in post-Brexit Britain and creatively utilizes a mixture of music, dance and dialogue. The performers are a diverse group of six highly talented dancers from a range of ethnic backgrounds and they are ably supported by Anthar Kharana, a Columbian composer and multi-instrumentalist. The script is based on the real experiences of the performers plus extensive research undertaken by Luca Silvestrini, the Artistic Director, when talking to migrants across Europe and beyond. The dialogue is powerful and humorous and is wonderfully delivered by the cast whilst simultaneously moving gracefully and acrobatically across the stage. The central character, Andy, superbly played by Andrew Gardiner, is a bigot who voices his stereotypical views about various ethnic groups whilst at the same time offering them some very patronising and cringeworthy hospitality. Each member of the cast also speaks movingly and amusingly about the labels that have been placed upon them. Border Tales doesn’t shy away from tacking the sensitive issues surrounding multiculturalism, stereotyping, migration and prejudice and they are entertainingly explored through a seamless combination of movement, text and music. It is significant that the one night audience enthusiastically showed their appreciation to the production with the majority remaining behind for a post-performance discussion with the Director and cast.

The Arts Centre may wish to consider providing microphones for such events in the future as many of us were struggling to hear the questions.

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