Bird (3 stars)

This article is from 2016


credit: James Taylor Wilson

Slight, subtle survival tale boosted by brilliant sensory storytelling

This petite, innovative piece from Sita Pieraccini might look from where you're sitting like a solo but it is most definitely a duet. We first encounter Pieraccini marooned on a sandy island in the middle of the stage. Gradually she wakes up and begins to explore her surroundings – the soil, the quick mud, the tiny spring of water, the rubbish heap; finally the bird that becomes her friend (of sorts).

All of these physical features are brought to life in the most magnificently vivid way by David Pollock's fantastic live sound design – the aural equivalent of master-puppetry, turning each texture, friction, breeze into sensations we can feel, smell and see.

In this sense, Bird is a masterclass in sensory storytelling and Pieraccini a beautiful movement practitioner, at times curious and cartoonish, hobbling on her tiptoes, poking things about with her stick, and at others vulnerable, such as when she is barricaded in her tent-coat against the winds.

But despite the innovations, the piece is slight on narrative and progression, the tale so subtle that even though we are watching one woman pit her wits against the elements, it sometimes doesn't feel like much is at stake.

Dance Base, until 28 Aug (not 15, 22), 6.30pm, £12 (£10).


  • 3 stars

Sita Pieraccini in association with Feral A vast and desolate world. One lone creature, starved of both food and friendship. With only a patch of soil to call her own, she must be ready to seize every small opportunity that might fly by… Created through inventive clowning, mime and visceral physicality, and enriched by a…