A World Without Words
Peters Productions in association with the Old Red Lion
A World Without Words does what it says, tells a story through dance without any words. Hardly ground-breaking stuff, although the advertising says that it "pushes the boundaries of storytelling." I immediately thought that Matthew Bourne's Play Without Words did that years ago, and that thought was immediately followed by another: ballet has been doing it for an awful lot longer.
In a festival which is often characterised by advertising hyperbole, this is quite a claim to live up to, so I was looking forward to something different, something exciting.
Does it live up to the advertising? Not at all. It's a love story: boy meets girl; boy and girl fall in love; boy meets someone else... Do I need to go on? And the choreography doesn't break new ground. It's middle of the road contemporary dance in style, hardly demanding on the audience and, to be honest, not making too many demands on the dancers either.
They handle it very well. There are eight of them, three boys and three girls for the nightclub and other scenes and one boy and one girl as the principal characters. They maintain their energy and skill for the full 50 minutes and give good performances. No complaints there, nor are there any about the staging, but it's just that the show is over-sold.
As an accessible introduction to contemporary dance, A World Without Words is great but no boundaries are pushed, I'm afraid.
Reviewer: Peter Lathan