Reviews Moving Landscape 2007

KIRSTIN INNES (preview) The List magazine, August 1 2007

In video clips on her website, Neel de Jong stands in an empty
studio space. Her long tweed frock coat and eye goggles recall
Mr Toad; her static, silent demeanour does not. She makes a tiny,
polite motion with her head that her body eventually picks up on
and repeats. Finally, she opens her mouth to emit a low primal moan.
‘I was thinking about the frustration of being at a tea party,’
says de Jong. ‘At the end you would just have to scream!’

It’s these small, spontaneous,very human moments where the
façade bursts that interest de Jong. Her work changes with every
performance, because she has stopped imposing structure upon herself.
Improvising with the pianist Augusto Pirodda (‘I ask him not to play
music that he already knows. When musicians do that, they are dead’),
de Jong externalises a series of inner worlds for her audience. ‘I like
Edinburgh,’ she says. ‘I feel that the people are really ready for this
kind of work.’

MARY BRENNAN (recensie)
The Herald, August 15 2007

Neel de Jong would instinctively recognise and applaud what the
women in the company, Little Dove Theatre Art (Australia) are up to
- her own work resonates with what it's like to live on the margins,
misunderstood at best and ignored or ostracised at worst. Moving
Landscape sees her, resolutely outlandish, in tiers of tulle skirt, soft
bootees, voluminous jacket and with her hair caught up in spiky
tufts - and she's dancing.

She uses finely nuanced body language, gestures and facial
expressions to deliver a narrative of valiant endeavours, crushing
rejections, mistreatment and abuse that drives her into paroxysms
of unstoppered rage - all totally unmistakable, even without her
pianist's appropriate support.

She breaks off to tell us that, really, she is sweet - demonstrates it
with shows of twinkling, naive coquettishness before singing a ditty
Björk would cheer for its heartfelt affirmation of how good it is to
be alive. Again, the show only lasts some 30 minutes - just long
enough to reveal de Jong's total artistry, humanity and generosity
of spirit. She's gone, like a summer swallow - if we're lucky, she'll
come back next year.

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ARCHIVE:
Moving Landscape, made in 2007 for the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh
'I look for the crack in my soul', says Neel about her performances, 'because in
that narrow space lies the beauty of human kind'. In 'Moving Landscape'
Neel explores the fragile silence and the raw earthy power of life-force trough
several archetypes. Chaos is a state of mind she uses to create and
recreate the moment. This process of creation and destruction is a bare
necessity to experience the intensity of life itself on a higher level. The
paradox in her work is that the vulnerability of human kind becomes
more real than in daily life. The piano player Augusto Pirodda supported her
during these performances.