Powerlessness, politics and pulsating dance: Company MEK’s Father Politics

Coronet Theatre, London
November 24, 2023

According to the programme, “Father Politics unmasks the polarisation of politics and the manipulation of truth in the media to influence younger generations.” Indeed, it does, and with tremendous power.

Company MEK’s productions straddle hip hop and contemporary dance culture and traditions. Rarely have I seen choreography that speaks a message so clearly, so profoundly, and so directly. I applaud choreographer Muhammed Kaltuk’s vivid and original dance imagination, and the dancers of Swiss ensemble Company MEK, who pulled it off with precision, stunning technique, passion and incredible pulsating energy.

It feels a little unfair to single her out, as all the dancers were faultless and powerful but of all of them, Anna Chiedza Spörri was a particular joy to watch. You understand every word her body is dancing.

Father Politics by Company Mek
Photo Laura Gauch

If there’s a niggle, it comes with a rather overlong sequence of two obsequious politicians trying to outdo each other in mutual back-slapping. While imaginative and initially funny, it wore thin for being over long.

The set, by Kevin Peterhans, is mobile and gets pushed around by the dancers, but to no particular point it seemed. Daniel Tschanz’s lighting does its job but fails to match the stark, powerful dance.

Father Politics left me feeling sad for the so many in the world who are voiceless. But I also left wondering why it is that so many artists use their art to rail at the state of things, yet so few offer solutions. The anger and frustration are there. The vision of how things could be is there. But nowhere is there the how, the path to get to the ‘better world’ we so desperately need. What, I wonder, would be the result, if Kaltuk’s visionary chorography showed us this?

Company MEK only appeared at London’s Coronet Theatre for two evenings but I would urge you to catch Father Politics in Leeds if you can. Otherwise, it seems you may have to go to Switzerland, their base, which is a great pity.

Father Politics by Company MEK is at the Riley Theatre, Leeds on December 1, 2023.