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Published 3rd May 2012
Facebook, Twitter, dating sites, personalised avatars… we barely even need a physical personality these days with all of the socially-focused websites available. LOL (Lots of Love) by Luca Silvestrini’s Protein Dance, performed at the Ivy Arts Centre, Guildford on 14th March 2012, seeks to explore how these online social networks are affecting our behaviour and ability to socialise, as well as how they are helping (or hindering) many people’s search for love. Through both Dance and Drama, the six dancers (three male, three female) adopt various characters to portray a series of different scenarios one might find themselves in when on a social networking website. Speech is used throughout to aid the mini-stories, which the dancers employ with ease amongst the often frantic movement.
Kip Johnson particularly stands out, with his ability to carry on speaking seamlessly about an unfortunate online incident, being mistaken as homosexual, whilst Stuart Waters throws himself from all angles and violently manipulates Johnson around the stage. Issues of sexuality and sexual desire are prominent throughout, with an emphasis on how people can sell themselves as something completely different to their actual personality through dating websites, particularly with females exploiting themselves for male desire.
Sally Marie gives a hilarious performance as an incredibly desperate woman, who develops an online obsession with a man named Jeff after he replies to her message on a dating site. She sends constant emails, asking if he’s there, assuming he must be on holiday due to his lack of reply and eventually breaking down when he has not replied for a while. Marie’s character emphasises the scarily fanatical behaviour that social media often provokes. Due to its immediate nature and the ability of access almost everywhere we go, over-thinking is terrifyingly common, with many thinking the absolute worst if a reply is not received in a matter of seconds.
Overall, despite several somewhat sexist themes, LOL is an entertaining depiction of the realities of the internet and social networks, highlighting the unnatural behaviour forced upon us. The many scenarios are meritoriously performed, providing a comical, yet scarily truthful insight into the actualities of this ever-growing technological side of twenty-first century lifestyles.