Potent micro-theatre probes a couple’s break up
This article is from 2012.
The most potent things always come in the smallest doses: shots of espresso, measures of vodka, and in this case an 11-minute piece of dance that cuts to the core of a couple’s broken relationship.
Even the wooden box that performers Marta Barceló and Joan Miquel Artigues move in feels brutally intense, a reconstruction of the original prison cell in Mallorca where the piece, from company Res de Res, premiered. In the spirit of the new-wave micro-theatre being developed in Spain in response to the financial crisis, audiences of 15 are taken in to perch on tiny stools, shine lights on the performance using torches, and feel the weight of sadness and the force of desperation piping off the couple as they fall in and out of a duet, each in their separate worlds, chasing a memory of the other.
(remor) is subtitled ‘the soul’s prison’, and although it may be a metaphorical prison, the bleakness is painfully vivid; in the dank chalky walls, the corroding sink and the bunk beds that provide a stage for Barceló and Artigues to crawl, claw and fling their way around.
Their physical magnetism pulls you into this piece and doesn’t let go throughout, from the opening scene where she knocks back pills while he reads a letter, to the aching central dance, framed by Joana Gomila’s soulful, cello-driven score. Oblivious, he pins her backwards against the wall then moves so she slides numbly down; she arches her back while he slips between her legs like a thought falling away.
It all feels deeply sad and beautifully articulate. Through dance, Res de Res has found a language to express the complex feelings of confusion and loss that come when relationships break down, one that is far more potent than words.
C Nova, 0845 260 1234, until 27 Aug (not 13), 4pm, 4.20pm, 4.40pm, 5pm, 5.20pm, 8pm, 8.20pm, 8.40pm, 9pm, 9.20pm, £2.50–£4.50 (£1.50–£3.50).