Twitch & Jerk Dance Theatre, Good-bye Cruel World I’m Off To Join The Circus / Being and Nothingnes

Review in Issue 8-2 | Summer 1996

With these two pieces, Twitch & Jerk proved that one can successfully combine ‘straight’ acting with a more abstract contemporary dance vocabulary. The addressing of an individual’s search to make meaning of himself and his life could easily have drifted into a tiresome existential diatribe. Instead, they produced a well constructed piece of black comedy proving that dance theatre can address difficult issues in a less brutal fashion.

Someone once said that ‘dance is the poetry of the theatre’ and in this case they would have been correct. In many instances, the four dancers concretised the lone actor’s thoughts as he struggled to come to terms with who he was, where he was and what he really wanted. Although the performers briefly slipped into a section involving the ‘Bauschian unrequited embrace’, for the most part they actually appeared to be enjoying their work. The actor’s struggle to make sense of a stand-up comedy routine in a controlled but distressed manner, was exemplified in the dancer’s pure, intelligible and disciplined movement vocabulary.

The only friction in this actor/dancer correlation came from something inhuman – a slide projection onto the back wall. Although some of the projected imagery connected to the movement and spoken material, it failed to have any effect on a subliminal level and rather appeared superfluous when the performers were relating to the audience with such clarity.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Apr 1996

This article in the magazine

Issue 8-2
p. 26