Review by Charlotte Leamon
Moon Rabbit Rising presented by the Little Eggs Collective at 25A Belvoir delves into the Ancient Chinese legend of 后羿 (Hou Yi) and 嫦娥 (Chang’e). The legend is retold through the perspectives of the Suns, as these 10 suns set and rise until one day they start to run free and wild, allowing chaos to ensue. Through body and sound cast members Mym Kwa, Jon Lam, Jasper-Lee Lindsay, Monica Sayers and Rachel Seeto take the audience on a journey, “of light, curiosity, wonder, love and care” as stated by Director Nicole Pingon.
Personally, I was enlightened by the cultural explorations the team embarked upon in order to demonstrate this legend. The casts physicality was structured and rehearsed, leaving no room for fault as they worked seamlessly as a collective, or at times against one another. Through a re-enactment of mime, the emotions of fear, devastation, wonder and more were presented through physical and facial gestures. The energy of the cast was admirable as they dove courageously into 50 minutes of dance and mime, as well as vocal harmonisations. The simple, flowing white costumes of the cast let them move with grace.
The set also followed with simplicity, as one splatter-shaped gold platform elevated the space and enhanced relationships of harmony and conflict within the performance. Lighting by Tyler Fitzpatrick was simple yet effective, where shadows against the back curtain let the audience enter a dream-like state. Lastly but certainly not least, sound designer and composer Christine Pan had a huge responsibility and task in composing for this show. Through exploring a range of genres, timbres, and instruments, Pan collated live and electroacoustic sounds in order to lead the story and its emotions in collaboration with the performers.
The creative choice of integrating live a cappella voice and singing for the cast was brave, however the harmonisations of Pan’s melodies were hauntingly beautiful and added depth within the space. Overall, this work brought the magic of an ancient legend to life and invited the audience to visualise the mysteries and fantasies that come to life from Chinese mythologies. It further enlightens us to think about our surroundings and the life of all matter on this Earth.