Vincent Dance Theatre, Cthonian Pleasures

Review in Issue 8-4 | Winter 1996

This Sheffield-based company show a professionalism and maturity of style more akin to a company ten years their senior. Founder, Charlotte Vincent, devised and directed Cthonian Pleasures and the objectivity this afforded her paid off handsomely. The piece was a powerful, visually arresting portrayal of man's endless capacity for cruelty, especially when trying to express or repress love. The clever casting contributed significantly to the overall effect. The two contrasting women – one small and Puck-like, the other tall, lithe and Amazonian – interacted with varying degrees of violence and sensuousness. Their differing emotional states were mimetic with the different shapes they made on stage. As a further contrast the muscle-bound, rough and featureless male dancer fitted somewhere between the two women, both physically and semantically. The playing area consisted of a huge circular mound of peat, five inches deep and dramatically lit at ground level, which further contributed to the sense that something elemental and not just symbolic was being played out here. And as far as physical theatre goes, Vincent Dance Theatre go further than most. Gone were the meaningless spatial gestures ubiquitous in this genre and instead we were confronted with brittle, emotionally charged idiosyncrasies which often erupted into a kind of clumsy, unbearable reality. All in all it was an unforgettable performance.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 1996

This article in the magazine

TT 8-4
Issue 8-4
p. 23