Martin Creed: Ballet Work No 1020 (3 stars)

This article is from 2010.

Martin Creed: Ballet Work No 1020

Oh, do try harder, disgruntled of Sadler’s Wells

Three stars. That’s what Martin Creed’s getting, although I suspect he was aiming for one, and some outrage. Three stars because there are a couple of interesting dance moments, a few good laughs, and some of the musical numbers are quite good, although the one called ‘Nothing’ (lyric: “nothing”, repeated) grates a bit. Oh, and there’s a film screen, showing some of the Turner Prize winner’s earlier works. Sometimes people vomit on it. Sometimes they pull down their pants and shit, and then Martin sings a song called ‘Fuck Off’ (lyric: “fuck off”, repeated). The Traverse audience applaud politely. At times, there’s something fascinating about limiting such clearly skilled dancers to a series of simple exercises built on the five basic ballet positions, and trained musicians to the basic scales, and in a gallery, as an installation, this series of anti-aesthetic anti-statements might (ironically) galvanise. However, in a theatre, this just isn’t entertaining, thought-provoking, or shocking enough.

Traverse Theatre, 228 1404, until 15 Aug, times vary, £17–£19 (£6–£13).

Martin Creed: Ballet Work No. 1020

  • 3 stars

Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed's funny and thoughtful piece for five dancers, with film and a live band featuring the artist himself. A sell-out hit in London, the work now comes to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for eight performances only. Based around the five positions in ballet and the notes of the musical…

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