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LISCHE 'Lo spazio accessible,' Wired (Aerial Theatre) 'Stuffed,' Max Barachini 'Vulnerable:  part two'

by Vicky Costello

February 13, 2004 -- The Place, London

"Lo spazio accessible"

Choreographed and performed by: Cristiano Fabbri and Simone Magnani

"Lo spazio accessible" was a male duet, which attempted to explore "the rituality of the relationships between man, dancer and space." This theme could be interpreted in almost an infinite number of ways -- and it was.

The piece constantly shifted in its dynamic and expression. Fabbri and Magnani, in light coloured linen trousers and cotton tops, fought (with each other and fight-club style with the space around them), hugged, spoke, had fits, guided each other as a classical ballet male lead would the female, pointed, stared into space, twitched, gestured and performed sweeping kicks and traveling sequences. The music changed as frequently and as abruptly as the movement, as did the dancers' expressions -- they appeared vulnerable, strong, curious, secretive, psychotic, puzzled or in pain.

"Lo spazio accessible" showed real potential through some fascinating moments of original choreography, and interplay between different movements or environments, and between humanity and abstraction. However, the piece was too long to survive with so little to hold the mass of material together, and unfortunately, as a result, it became tedious.

Wired (Aerial Theatre)

Choreographed by: Wendy Hesketh
Performed by: Damian Smyth and Wendy Hesketh
Bungee climers (in wings): Jamie Ogilvie and Seth Allen

Upon reading that the theme of this piece was bulimia I have to admit I was skeptical -- not an easy topic to cover without being over personal or clichéd. However, "Stuffed" was funny, touching, humble and original.

The audience entered the theatre to find on their seats a white A4 piece of paper with a single black painted tick on one side. These were used for an introductory, witty food psychology questionnaire, conducted by Damian Smyth, based on food that had been handed out on trays, in the bar, during the interval.

Wendy Hesketh made her entrance, attached to a bungee cord, by being "thrown up" by a wheelie bin decorated to represent a toilet. Her solo, which made up the rest of the piece, oscillated between witty and tragic, with effective results.

She began by explaining her special relationship with the toilet, before moving into a seductive tango with her "special partner." She then performed a lyrical solo, spinning over the top of the "toilet," peering into it, being lowered into it, leaping over it and falling indulgently, then lifelessly, around it. The position of the bungee cord around her stomach and its effect on her body at just the right moments added an extra layer to the movement.

"Stuffed" was beautifully performed, witty and moving.

Max Barachini
"Vulnerable: part two"

Concept and choreography by: Max Barachini
Performed by: Max Barachini, Elisa Canessa, Hanna Moors and Emiliano Nigi

The piece opened with Barachini standing on stage, still and with his eyes closed. The house lights were up, and the theatre was filled with grating, uncomfortable sound. Barachini began by shouting broken text before the sound stopped and the lighting shifted solely to the stage.

The first, slow duet, between Barachini and one of the female performers, contained some interesting moments, mainly due to both performers keeping their eyes closed throughout. The piece continued through a series of duets and layers of various irritating live and recorded sounds and text.

There were some interesting, and quite beautiful, moments in "Vulnerable," but these were lost in a wash of slow paced, self-indulgence.

Edited by Lori Ibay

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