Roses and Beans (2 stars)

Predictable Live Art act too pleased with itself to have a real purpose


This article is from 2014.

Roses and Beans

Although it is difficult to define Live Art – it is roughly performance that shies away from theatrical cliches like scripts, acting and clear narratives – Shake It Collaborations present a handy compendium of its tropes. There is the social dancing used as an expression of an idea, an over-arching theme that comes to no conclusions (power relationships), pop culture adapted to reveal a hidden depth (Lady Gaga, of course) and a reference to Marina Abramovic. Add in the warm relationship with the audience and the determination of the performers to 'be themselves' even when acting out characters, and Roses and Beans is an introduction to the form.

It is disappointing that a supposedly radical genre is now so formally predictable and, in spite of the massive cake that Dag Andersson and Tove Sahlin share with the audience, Roses fails to offer any insights from their study of male/female relationships. This being live art, though, they pass round a selection of book on matters queer, even though the couples they discuss are all heteronomative.

Tokenism is pretty common in Live Art, too.

This gentle fifty minute show is warm and playful, but lacks any bite or depth: Andersson and Sahlin sing and dance well – their harmonies on Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers' 'Islands in the Stream' are marvellous, but, following another typical Live Art strategy, it is too pleased with itself to have a clear purpose.

C Venue, 0845 260 1234, until 9 Aug, 9.05pm, £7.50–£9.50

This article is from 2014.

Roses and Beans

  • 2 stars

Shake It Collaborations (Sweden) A social happening and a performance in one. Roses and Beans is about how we organise and experience love, and about the model of the couple as the ultimate formula for success and happiness. Andersson and Sahlin are borrowing extracts of life and art from couples like Marina and Ulay…


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