Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

You Don’t Love Me The Way That I Love You

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I went to see Lucy Guerin’s Love Me at the Southbank Centre last night. This is a trio of short contemporary dance pieces first performed in Australia in 2005.

The first of these, Reservoir of Giving I and II, was not very good at all. The idea is to tell the story of a relationship from both sides, female dancer and male voiceover and then the reverse, but the two mediums never meshed and nice touches of movement were lost within the blandness. Matters weren’t helped by the score which had the air of Seventies soft porn.

On was much better. Male and female were now united on stage for a dystopian duet of wonderful, layered intricacy. It was slightly sprawling but it was the only time during the evening that sound, light and body were in successful collaboration (if not harmony given the antagonism of the piece).

The final piece, Melt, was sabotaged by the fact that someone’s iPod was playing very quietly but not quietly enough somewhere behind me. This made it impossible to concentrate on the near silent start of the performance. Beyond the aural irritation I was wracked with a pointless paranoia that it was in fact my iPod making the noise, even though I knew this was impossible. Once the volume on stage increased I was able to divert my attention back to the performers but there was nothing much to see. Against a projected background the two dancers stood side by side, face on to the audience and mugged their way through a pretty broad routine. This approach – coupled with the disparity in height between the two and their lack of synchronicity – brought to mind a school talent show.

So very much a mixed bag but I’m glad I went. This was in the Purcell Room because Ken Livingstone was giving a talk in the Queen Elizabeth Hall. It is a bit of a shame that he is such a bigger draw but (rogue iPods notwithstanding) the smaller space was the better venue given the intimacy of the pieces.


Written by Martin

20 May 2009 at 11:09

Posted in performance

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