dANTE OR dIE, Caliper Boy

Review in Issue 19-2 | Summer 2007

The show begins amidst the chatter of pre-performance drinks, gushing reunions, and absent stores, a melodious acoustic twang drifts through the enclosed space of CPT’s foyer and we are hooked, caught unawares, interrupted mid-sentence. Our faces drawn up to meet the music, we are lured into the performance space, a procession of eager followers, following our Pied Pipers (the excellent folk band Left With Pictures working in collaboration with dANTE OR DIE’s Yaniv Fridel). And, as with the Pied Piper, we are guided to a sad tale of lost children, haunted histories and social estrangement. The tale of Caliper Boy recounts a modern urban myth of a twelve-year-old boy who escapes the confinement of his prostitute mother’s cellar and comes to voice the apprehensions of the city – and of us all. Combining dance by Sarah Sproull, music and some wonderful speeches delivered by Terry O’Donovan, dANTE or dIE evoke the loss of home and the insecurities of the city. The extended opening scene that consists of approximately five minutes of uneventful counting sets a space for questioning this loss, and a pace that, as it accelerates by way of distorted bodies and a series of disparate and disorientating stories, leads one to enfold oneself in the Caliper Boy’s question: ‘Why aren’t I like the other children, Mother?’ While some scenes seem purposelessly long and obscure, on the whole, Caliper Boy is a thoughtful response to the childhood fears of un-belonging that remain with us, haunting our sense of self. This response is helped enormously by the troubling score that provides momentum, and the tumbling, tangled stories that lead us nowhere in particular.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Dec 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 19-2
p. 30