No Tears / Circle X Arts, If Cassandra

Review in Issue 17-3 | Autumn 2005

No Tears is a three-part movement piece based around the theme of cultural displacement, each part created by a different choreographer of a different nationality. The first piece, by choreographer Roya Kitani from Japan, presents us with one almost silent-footed perpetual jogger, three other performers in the space, suitcases – eventually music breezes in. Games of dressing and undressing down to underwear, one man swamped under an avalanche of clothing. The jogger pauses for a moment, and continues, anchoring the space. The second piece, by choreographer Hans Fors of Sweden (whose company Igemon also performed at the Festival) gives us two men, each rooted in a red cube – like two strange plants. Growing and lifting the bottomless cubes, music creeps in and they, with a third counterpart, attempt to find their place in the world. The final piece, by Italian choreographer Cecilia Bertoni also utilises open cubes. Four characters in white suits live their lives within and around wooden tunnels, exploring each other like lava insects, tender and exploitative. What to do, where to go? Now like lost souls, now open and soft, now strong and focused – a fabulous dance theatre, enhanced by an extraordinary original soundscape. Cecilia Bertoni's choreography was seen again, in a more theatrical context, in her company's If Cassandra (Circle X Arts). In Cassandra's home three women meet for dinner. With repetitions, surprises within repetitions, and exquisite, extraordinary movement, each character is solidly believable in a cartoon-esque way. Images remind me of Magritte, Chagal and the perpetual bride... Highly enjoyable absurdities illuminate the tragic situations of the trio, Helena, Cassandra and Medea, who have wandered from Greek mythology into a sort of contemporary, surreal parallel universe. With the sound person/composer present down stage left, this four strong ensemble investigate a dialogue between absurdist character acting, movement and live sound composition. For example, when Cassandra opens and throws a tablecloth across the table we hear the flutter of bird wings, and there's an ominous physicality – enacted exaggeration to the sound of knives and forks being laid. This is high quality work; intense and playful impressions of life, full of gut-wrenching moments, exquisitely performed.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Date Seen
  1. May 2005

This article in the magazine

Issue 17-3
p. 25