Kataklo Athletic Dance Theatre's Love Machines (2 stars)

This article is from 2009.

Kataklo Athletic Dance Theatre's Love Machines

Athletic dance without depth

Love Machines provides evidence that a good concept and strong technique is not enough. Based on the works of Leonardo da Vinci, and apparently set in an underground cave inhabited by strange creatures, Kataklo throw together kitsch costumes, a poor soundtrack and a spectacular light show to achieve a mediocre and unengaging show of precision and skill.

The early sequences are promising. Two explorers descend from the ceiling, encounter denizens of the dark and clamber over a mobile set. Just when it appears that the lost connection between contemporary dance and rock climbing has been found, the choreography slips into a series of routines that hesitate between the impressive and the trite. An argument between men and women is played out in the simplest terms, the subterraneans imitate the explorers and the Aztec costumes render the more gentle movements silly.

There is plenty of ability in this company: every move is delivered with precision and grace. But with a soundtrack that unhappily matches ‘ethnic’ samples and smooth techno beats and choreography that feels far too literal, Love Machines fails to develop any deep purpose.

Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, until 31 Aug, 5.05pm, £13–£16 (£12–£14).

Kataklo Athletic Dance Theatre's 'Love Machines'

  • 2 stars

World class gymnasts adopt the world of dance and physical theatre. World premiere of a tribute to Leonardo da Vinci's studies of body and machines. 'A jaw-dropping explosion of a performance' (Stage).

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