DV8, Bound To Please

Review in Issue 9-2 | Summer 1997

Bound to Please begins with an elderly ballerina mournfully performing ‘porte de bras’ to a tinkly music-box tune. The pace soon changes when an insistent club beat drowns out the music-box and ushers in the rest of the company.

In an impressive revolving set, which artfully creates the interiors and exteriors of a building, the piece explores the activities of its inhabitants and their interactions. There is no denying the talents and abilities of the dancers and the flawless, fluid, choreography which is often comic and constantly inventive. Routines are set up to be broken, movement is placed in new contexts which make it seem ridiculous or inappropriate. It is in the portrayal of ordinary, everyday, relations that Bound to Please works best.

Lloyd Newson however, intended to make a difficult work, wanting the audience to depart feeling provoked. Unfortunately his means of achieving this seemed clumsily tacked-on. A classical ballet class, a form that favours youth over age, perfection over human frailty, and conformity over individual expression, is enacted. A ballerina is abused by a man wearing a hood. These and other tactics designed to provoke the audience are not effectively integrated into the actual material of the show and ultimately 1 left feeling tricked rather than provoked in any meaningful way.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Mar 1997

This article in the magazine

Issue 9-2
p. 22