Nutcrusher @ Dance Base

Unsettling yet brutally honest, Sung Im Her's Nutcrusher invites us to contemplate the sexual objectification of women, and question how we view our own bodies

Review by Kitty McQueen | 25 Aug 2022
  • Nutcrusher

Sung Im Her’s ferocious dance piece Nutcrusher invites audiences to contemplate the sexual objectification of the female body in an unsettling yet brutally honest manner. Sung Im Her’s choreography has us question how we view our own bodies as it takes us on a journey with the dancers. 

The pacing of the dance adds to this effect immensely. With an ominous beginning full of choppy movements and abstract costumes, the tension builds slowly through the use of pauses, repetition, and hypnotic counting that gradually intensifies. Each dancer delivers a spectacular performance full of emotion and raw passion, and as a result the synchronous movements are executed brilliantly. The complete lack of identity that sexual objectification imposes upon someone is portrayed exceedingly well through the costumes and the overall choreography that refrains from showing us each dancer’s face but instead exposes their bodies. 

The synchronicity of the piece gradually breaks down as each dancer goes off on their own tangent. Some conceal their bodies, others demonstrate strength, though they are all continuously stuck mirroring one another as the disempowering experience of being objectified and relentlessly sexualised strips them of all individuality and power. 

The finale of the piece is soft and quiet. Once again the pacing works wonders here – there is a sense of total exhaustion and mourning. This is portrayed perfectly as the dancers finally acknowledge one another in order to console themselves and shield their vulnerability from the audience. The lighting, originally designed by Patricia Roldan Polo with associate lighting design and operation by Julien Bernard, manages to compliment and accentuate the mentioned themes. The use of strobe lights, blackouts, and the ultimate small soft glow only add to what is such a high intensity journey and further unsettles audiences in the appropriate manner.

Nutcrusher is certainly not for everyone, but if you feel connected to this topic and aren’t afraid of a unique and impactful performance, this is the show for you. 

Nutcrusher, Dance Base (Studio 3), until 28 Aug, 7.10pm, £14-18