Oxford Playhouse, 27th March
Australian dancers bring a Germanic take on modern institutionalism alive. Gibbering chalk drawings are hurriedly rubbed out by a robotic, mannekinesque automaton 'nurse' guard as soon as they appear. Juxtaposing this are displays of intense masculinity and inhibited sexuality confined within the green walls and sparse furnishing of the set.
The movements are highly stylised, but not refined. This is dance as a language, able to communicate richly, yet informal - essentially dance as slang. Throughout the performance people behave largely as animals, fighting over territory and to have the upper hand. Relationships are born, mature, change and are born again. Nothing bars the extent to which individualism can be expressed within this highly logistically restricted environment.
The piece was originally performed in Australia three years ago, and the same cast return to it now, with different personal outlooks and personalities, but engaging once again with the strict physical parameters of the characters as set originally by the production's late writer, choreographer and director Tanja Liedtke. Expect to be amazed and enthralled.