Gossip (4 stars)

This article is from 2017


credit: Viktor Kronbauer

Lenka Vagnerová's latest piece is a surreal storm of human behaviour

Czech choreographer Lenka Vagnerová has a fascination for animal behaviour and has previously choreographed pieces that explore wolves and birds. Here she turns her eye to a different type of animal, one that exhibits no less baffling traits: the human.

Gossip takes place over the course of one man's birthday party, a loose frame for the surreal collection of vignettes that make up the piece. At first it feels as if we are in a comic strip. Revellers move in clockwork jerks, tipping back champers, sizing one another up. There's something monkey-ish about their curious, greedy gestures. They ostracise, manipulate, point, laugh.

Two men are turned into puppets, one man rips apart chicken as another has his bones broken, and one couple has their secrets pulled from them in the form of black tape, ending in a stormcloud of the stuff, billowing and suffocating as it is tossed around the stage. Vagnerová's dance palette echoes her earlier work in its animalistic movement and passages of breakneck speed. These varied textures are the driving force behind the piece, and while the ideas don't always come fully to the fore, there is never a dull moment – like any good debauched gathering.

ZOO Southside, until 15 Aug, 8.30pm, £14 (£12).


  • 4 stars

Lenka Vagnerova and Company Gossip, blather, misinformation and rumours are a cross-cultural phenomenon of humanity. The power and punch sound of the word uttered in the form of slander is often more powerful than the gun. Thrilling and impressive dance huddle, combines dance, physical theatre, puppetry and dramatic…