It's posh theatre - a collaboration between the amazing Akram Khan and JuiletBinoche. The set - a backdrop and two chairs - was 'designed' by AnishKapoor. It's very beautiful and at its best the dance is absolutely exhilarating.
I suspect, however, that I have a prejudice about this kind of work. It always seems unaware of the very human need for self deprecation and irony (or these states are so self-consciously played that they only serve to patronise those in the audience who genuinely live in in a world where both are constant.) The jokes are there, but are so carefully choreographed that I don't find myself laughing.
The piece is set up as a mediation on a relationship. Its movements, punctuated by an introverted text, revealing in the first person, the feather cuts, the anxieties and missed communications that punctuate all love affairs. The audience travel, almost inevitably, from initial passion through conflict, compromise, ennui and eventually solitude.
Voyeuristically this is all wonderful, but I don't believe in Akram and Juliet. They're too close to perfection, so I have little sympathy and absolutely no sense of kinship recognition when their relationship deteriorates. In fact it seems ridiculous.
I admired their passion, their bodies beautiful and their commitment to the dance.
Mark is the Academic Director of the Drama Programmes at St Mary's University in Twickenham. He has worked internationally as a theatre director and educator for the past 15 years, focused mostly on youth, community, and conflict resolution work.
As a lecturer Mark taught at Goldsmiths College, Coventry University and was Head of Performing Arts at Canterbury College prior to joining St Mary’s in 2006.
His Professional directing credits include Henry V (One of US?) and Valhalla for RSC Education; The Wind in the Willows, Jack Cade, The Red, Red Robin for Sevenoaks Playhouse; Tender Souls, The Quality of Mercy and Playhouse Creatures for the Ambassadors Theatre group.
Mark is a director of subVERSE Theatre company for whom has directed fringe premieres of Chief, Dinnertime and OxfamC**t at Theatre 503.
Site specific work includes Purka and Shadow on Icelandic volcanoes and Novocento with students from the University of Genoa.