Cold Blood (5 stars)

This article is from 2018

Cold Blood

credit: Julien Lambert

Hypnotic multimedia performance about life, death, the sublime and the mundane – told through fingers

A pendulum swings from the crushingly bleak and the plain daft in this beautiful piece by Kiss & Cry Collective. Smoothly, hypnotically manipulating the audience with the sublime and the ridiculous in a story about death (seven, to be precise), it's no surprise when a full house gives it a standing ovation.

Film, dance, theatre and music blur together in the live production filmed on roving cameras, zooming in on miniature sets: a foggy silver birch forest, an apartment with microscopic parquet flooring, the smallest car wash (with feather dusters birled round by power drills), a bar with the loneliest pole dancer. Many scenes are acted out by fingers – and the spectrum of emotions they convey with a coy ankle lift or a suicidal spasm becomes totally intoxicating.

Dancer and choreographer Michèle Anne De Mey created Cold Blood with her filmmaker partner Jaco Van Dormael, and it is her fingers, filmed by his camera, that provides the basis of the show, with a tightly synchronised team of dancers, wind machine operators, rocket launchers and dollhouse-sized cannibals adding to the odd magic.

Sliding into metal thimbles to tap dance through some Fred and Ginger-style competitive showboating against a glorious black and white movie set, or louchely wandering the city streets at night to answer a personal ad from a film noir temptress, the fingers glide and buckle through scenarios both mundane and morose.

Wrestling with the bigger issue of death is slowly and gracefully done, with David Shrigley-style dark humour and a soundtrack by Nina Simone, David Bowie and Ravel, and featuring gobsmacking cameos from cotton wool, a kaleidoscope and water droplets under a fan. Tender, absurd and clever, it's a funny, sanguine look at life, zooming in and out of the bits we should probably examine more closely.

King's Theatre, until 6 Aug, 8pm, £14–£32.

Cold Blood

  • 5 stars

Cold Blood is a remarkable live, feature-length cinema-dance show. It’ll make you smile, laugh, and gasp in amazement. It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. A drive-in movie, a war-ravaged city, a space station. An old-time, Fred and Ginger-style tap routine. A night at the ballet. All conjured using an…