Time Out

And Who Shall come to the Ball?...
Donald Hutera

Queen Elizabeth Hall



Sept 25-26

From humble beginnings in 1991, London based CandoCo has grown into one of the world’s top dance companies blending disabled and non-disabled performers. Its current touring programme, which comes to Queen Elizabeth Hall in September, is an audacious pairing of new work by Arthur Pita and Rafael Bonachela.

Pita’s curtain-raiser ‘The Stepfather’ toys inventively with the poor white trash stereotypes littering our ideas about grubby, backwoods America. Taking its initial cue from the knowing, raw wail of songs by Violent Femmes, this neo-folktale of love, lust, loneliness and betray leads to a macabre conclusion. A soundtrack that also features showbiz belter Ethel Merman and hula music enhances the camp side of Pita’s tragi comedy. Fans of both vigorously clever, tongue-in-cheek dance-theatre and genuinely ghostly romance ought to be tickled and intrigued by the whole thing. While Pita injects shots of stylised silliness into a sinister and sensual situation, Bonachela opts instead for an atmosphere thick with an almost deadly daring. ‘And Who Shall Go to the Ball’ is a high-strung, semi-abstract piece set in a dark, infernal seeming club partly defined by an irregular glowing white line and odd ski-polelighting fixtures (courtesy of the gifted designer Guy Hoare).

CandoCo’s seven dancers prowl about exchanging scarily significant looks until they pounce, flinging themselves up on each other with excruciatingly controlled abandon. Angular, jagged and exciting, their go-for-broke movement is underscored by original music - all screaming strings and ominous, throbbing percussion - from the iconic Scott Walker. The hub of this drama of dangerous desires is a sensational duet of anger and intimacy between Marc Brew and Jorge MCrecis in which the former’s wheelchair is as integral as the men’s flesh and bones. Maybe with this sizzling dance Bonachela will finally throw off the mantle of Kylie’stour choreographer of choice.



© - Donald Hutera Sep 2007

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