Ioanna Paraskevopoulou

MOS, by Ioanna Paraskevopoulou, sets up a typically postmodern premise. As old films play across one of three screens, two performers (Paraskevopoulou and Georgios Kotsifakis) use props to create a live soundtrack by playing foley sounds into condenser mics.

At times, striking scenes emerge. In one, the film the performers are foleying is projected on a screen out of the audience’s sight. The performers, following something unseen with their eyes, look hypnotised: the act of recording has taken centre-stage. In another, Paraskevopoulou foleys Kotsifakis’s footsteps as he ambles around the stage, and for a few seconds there is a fascinating tension between them.

It feels like the work might have gained from leaning more into moments of drama like these. Instead, the piece leads us into an extended tap-dance section which, while dazzling, goes on for too long. Still – it’s hard to complain when it’s all so beautifully done.

Dom Czapski

Window blinds, umbrellas, bathroom plungers. The stage is set with a hodgepodge of paraphernalia. Six microphones stand tall amongst them, like satellite dishes on a city skyline. Upperstage left, a television box plays Stanley Donen’s The Royal Wedding, starring Jane Powell and Fred Astaire. There is no guessing as to what Ioanna Paraskevopoulou’s MOS is about: the art of foley.

As performers Paraskevopoulou and Giorgos Kotsifakis start to play with the items on stage though, like toddlers in a sandpit, it soon becomes apparent that MOS is not merely about showing the sound mechanics of cinematic scripts. Of how coconut shells are used to imitate horse’s hooves going clippity-clop, say. Or how those bathroom plungers, when pulled, sound an awfully lot like jacket poppers — albeit amplified!

In fact, it is by magnifying the movements that go into movie soundscapes that MOS brings our attention to the simple but no less profound fact that without movement there is no sound. Nowhere is this more powerful than in the final scene of the show when, after a marathon of a tap dance, the performers hold microphones up to their chests, hearts thumping to the very same beat.

Liza Weber

The set of MOS resembles a contemporary art installation: a tray with dry earth, a free-standing door, two sink plungers, some shoes, a screen and microphones pointing at the floor. But these utensils are not destined to remain untouched, as choreographer Ioanna Paraskevopoulou and her fellow performer Georgios Kotsifakis enter the stage.

Commanded by a high-pitched alarm announcing the start of each recording session, the two disciplined foley artists stare at a screen behind the audience and start knocking half coconuts together, slamming doors or pouring water. The movie doesn’t really matter, the backstage becomes the real show.

They sometimes foley each other’s movements like onomatopoeia in a comic strip, creating a stunning connection between them – a refreshing wordless dialogue.

The final tap dance brings a radical change: repetitive, rather slow, more grounded, with a ritualistic feel to it. Though a bit long, it gives an additional depth to their beautiful complicity.

Elsa Vinet