Saturday, 11 October 2008
In the evening I went to see in-i at the National Theatre.
It's posh theatre - a collaboration between the amazing Akram Khan and Juilet Binoche. The set - a backdrop and two chairs - was 'designed' by Anish Kapoor. It's very beautiful and at its best the dance is absolutely exhilarating.
I suspect, however, that I have a prejudice about this kind of work. It always seems unaware of the very human need for self deprecation and irony (or these states are so self-consciously played that they only serve to patronise those in the audience who genuinely live in in a world where both are constant.) The jokes are there, but are so carefully choreographed that I don't find myself laughing.
The piece is set up as a mediation on a relationship. Its movements, punctuated by an introverted text, revealing in the first person, the feather cuts, the anxieties and missed communications that punctuate all love affairs. The audience travel, almost inevitably, from initial passion through conflict, compromise, ennui and eventually solitude.
Voyeuristically this is all wonderful, but I don't believe in Akram and Juliet. They're too close to perfection, so I have little sympathy and absolutely no sense of kinship recognition when their relationship deteriorates. In fact it seems ridiculous.
I admired their passion, their bodies beautiful and their commitment to the dance.
I just saw no reason for things to go wrong!