Friday, March 5, 2004

Theatre Geek Report -- the matinee

Yesterday, I saw two of the plays I actually came here to see.  (Only one was a musical -- don't know what I was thinking when I'd said they both were.)

First was a dance piece by the name of "Play Without Words" -- which also pretty much sums up the concept.  Choreographed by Matthew Bourne -- who is, well, put it this way, a ballet choreographer whose name I actually know.  Three of his earlier pieces played Los Angeles (one of them, a "Swan Lake" with men playing the swans) made it to Broadway.  Anyway, I adore his stuff, and signed up for this on the strength of the fact that he did it.

It's a five character play.  I picked up the program and it listed two or three dancers for each role.  This is not unusual -- dancers generally rotate parts.  So I started looking around for the little slip of paper that says who is dancing which part at this performance.  Answer:  they all were.  The really inventive thing about this show is that two or three dancers played the same part AT THE SAME TIME.  They would either do the same steps simultaneously, or different steps meaning the same thing, or play the same character at a slightly different point in time, or play the same character if a different choice were made.  It was really remarkable.

And particularly eye-catching when two characters had sex, in that you would see two or three couples in different love-making dances on, say, different bits of furniture.  Matthew Bourne is quite, quite good at sexy choreography, and triple-casting the parts really let him triple the fun.  (Is it getting warm in here?) 

Really great piece.

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