DV8, Just for Show

Review in Issue 17-3 | Autumn 2005

Visually stunning, Just For Show could perhaps be best described as live cinema, albeit a strange hybrid of arthouse and advertising. Use of projections, lighting and set, combined with slick performances, created a confusing orgy of image. In the opening sequences the effect was so strong I feared I would be ill. It was often difficult to discern what was live and what film; the boundaries of the proscenium stage were constantly questioned and confused in dream-like and playful ways. The picture might extend beyond the frame of the stage, creating frames within frames, where live, filmed, and shadow dancers interacted, appearing and disappearing, casually coming up out of the floor, or extending the performance into the audience. I felt it was in this territory of pure image that the production had its greatest success. The emotional effect of this, combined with music, and even smells, was very powerful However, when they attempted to critique our obsession with image, using a magazine-like format, and sloganistic, albeit often hilarious, language, I fear the show slipped into its own trap, becoming too successfully what it attempted to parody. At the end of the evening, I came away with the impression that I had somehow gorged on nothing. Perhaps this was the intention, but I can’t help but feel they should have had the courage to let us feed on the beauty they could produce, without trying to be clever and force easy meanings that ultimately negated their achievements.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Apr 2005

This article in the magazine

Issue 17-3
p. 30