As in previous years, Birmingham-based company Bare Bones has invited several well-known choreographers to create works for their touring programme, performed in the round. Five pieces by five choreographers make for a patchy evening. Giornata, by Dutchman Hans Tuerlings, is the slightest, the dancers jacking their bodies to thrashing heavy metal, then calming for a sentimental rock anthem before an upbeat ending. It’s energetic, but the material is paper-thin.
In Wendy Houstoun’s Take Me Out, dancers in Tarantino-style sharp suits enact scenes like out-takes from a film. River Carmalt is the overbearing director, Keir Patrick the iconic man in black, barking gunfire sounds into his microphone. A woman’s solo to Nancy Sinatra’s plaintive Bang Bang strikes an unexpectedly personal note within the masculine, neo-noir imagery. Take Me Out contains much suggestive interplay on themes of action and direction, but fails to develop them.
a sex scene laced with Carry On innuendo, so it's not remotely sexy. But it is very funny...
Italian Luca Silvestrini has an acute, affectionate eye for British culture. To The Bone is a sex scene for River Carmalt and Vicki Manderson laced with Carry On innuendo, politeness, prudery, and kinky games, so it’s not remotely sexy. But it is very funny, the couple’s bodies interlocking like ill-fitting Meccano, nowhere more awkwardly than the moment when Carmalt literally gets inside Manderson’s knickers.
Hofesh Schechter’s Untitled is a solo in three sections for Elisabetta D’Aloia. She sweeps sensually against the floor in Love, or spasms into flurries of motion in Life. By the last section, Death, she is no longer on stage. Schechter’s gravelly narration is effective, but in the end he pushes too far as he pleads for her to come back.
Dance, Love, Sex and Other Little Details is a heavy title for Canadian Hélène Blackburn’s lightweight piece. There are some nifty, knotty duets and a couple of fine solos, but it could have done without the gesticulated stories about the nature of dance. Ultimately, though, the choreography is simply outclassed by the brilliance of the Shostakovich piano music to which it is set.