DV8, Can We Afford This / The Cost of Living

Review in Issue 12-4 | Winter 2000

DV8 give good value for money. For the cost of a ticket, you get bare flesh, circus tricks, trapdoors, trampolines, gun shots and the most stunning undulating set covered in green carpet. ‘Dancing on carpet is difficult, resulting in a twenty percent price increase,’ someone says early in the proceedings setting the tone for a show that’s all about commodification.

For this piece, originally commissioned for the Sydney Olympic Arts Festival, Lloyd Newson has blown the budget on a cast of seventeen performers that includes a singer, a clown, some circus artistes and (let’s not forget) a host of dancers. When late-comers arrive to take their seats, they’re reminded of the money they’ve already wasted by missing the first five minutes of the show. So what do we get in exchange for our hard-earned cash? Dance of course. But contemporary or classical? (Remember, combining both styles will cost more.) Nudity? (There’s yards of lithe flesh to feast on.) A song? (Paul Capsis obliges with Cher’s Believe.) Some laughs? (Naturally, this is a DV8 show after all.)

There’s a point to be made by all this goading: If everything and everyone has a price, what value do we put on things that don’t live up to the norm? What about the fat? The disabled? The ugly? The queer? Where do they fit into our world of Gap commercials and Hello magazine? Confrontational, provocative, sexy and fun, DV8 ask the questions and leave it to their audience to make the connections. That’s why they consistently prove themselves to be a company whose work you can ill afford to miss.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-4
p. 26