Creature (2 stars)

This article is from 2017


Uneasy blend of aerial movement and contemporary dance

There are five dancers of skill and strength in this 50-minute production developed in Switzerland by Vanessa Cook Dance, but their efforts aren't helped by vague intentions and sometimes ponderous pacing. This episodic piece operates in a sort of moodily-lit vacuum, with the marriage of aerial work and contemporary choreography as its USP.

It commences with three suspended bodies slowly and twitchily descending to the floor, and ends rather leftfield with a short voice-over about the elemental split between earth and sky. In between, the dancers rush about in a good (if not exactly original) group sequence, indulge in a few brief ambiguous duets and trios, or pull on bungees in a rhythmical fashion. None of this is bad, per se, but the cast – including Cook, and others from such countries as Italy and Poland – doesn't seem to have been encouraged to develop much, if any, complicity with the audience.

Unfortunately this leads to a feeling that they're doing a lot of this for themselves rather than us. Ultimately Creature demonstrates just how fine the line can be between admirable aspirations and unfulfilling pretensions.

C South, until 28 Aug (not 15), 5.35pm, £10.50–£12.50 (£8.50-£10.50).


  • 2 stars

Vanessa Cook Dance (Switzerland) Five extraordinary dancers weave aerial acrobatics and earth-bound choreography in a new work of compelling and visceral dance theatre. Visually stunning, suspended in a mesmerising soundscape, raw and beautiful, Creature explores the delicate balance between flying, falling, balancing…