15 February 2015

All The Things You Said You Never Said Before You Thought You Could Ever Say

Fans of contemporary dance and experimental theatre will definitely find plenty to say about All The Things You Said You Never Said Before You Thought You Could Ever Say (I'm going to call it ATTYSYNSBYTYCES from now on. Actually,  All The Things is easier. I'm just going to avoid referring to the title)! Compagnie T’d-U, an internationally renowned dance company is bringing their physical theatre/dance piece to the Ovalhouse, London in March 2015. The show explores relationships and the patterns we can find ourselves in, the said and unsaid and the importance of expression in our closest relationships.

Two female characters (Zuzana Kakalikova and Gema Galiana) and two guys (Guillaumarc Froidevaux and writer Anthony Nikolchev),  play one couple (each character split in two and  mirrors yet acts independently of each other).  Repetition that is key to the story – both female characters repeat their growing frustrations with the relationship, the men can then respond with more gusto. All four characters accurately depict the daily routine of a couple through movement - sleeping, arguing over breakfast and doing the laundry - the mundanities of relationships.  Props are cleverly used as metaphors for the relationship. 
I'll let you guys figure out if the performers are actors or dancers (you won't find it easy to decide). The movement and transitions are stunning, choreographed by Vivien Wood, an international performer and choreographer who wowed audiences with Exile last year.  Some of the lifts are highly technical and romantic, it’s not all doom and gloom. The passionate movement reminds us that there is still passion, even in the middle of the incessant nit picking and game playing.

With a powerful and resonating text written by Anthony Nikolchev which can be both devastating and laugh out loud funny in a heartbeat, many of the monologues and exchanges will be familiar to any audience member that has felt frustration in a relationship.  Some of the text where one half of a couple wants the other half to be impressed with them hits home too. It certainly is complicated.

There's a noticeable international feel to the production, as the performers hail from the USA, Spain, Switzerland and Bratislava. Foreign language is well used in some places to express anger. Kakalikova and Froidevaux created Compagnie T’d-U, and all the performers are part of Wroclaw’s Studio Matejka, where they do research into physical expression. It shows. Watching their Youtube videos is like witnessing a creative explosion on your screen.

Music fans will also love the soundtrack, with Bach and modern jazz featuring heavily. Guillaumarc created an analog loop as one of the larger pieces of music involved which was blended with the Northern Sinfonia Principal Violinist Bradley Creswick’s interpretation of Bach’s Musical Offering. This piece can be played both forwards and backwards in both directions, which fits with the sense that the two characters see the same event from dramatically different perspectives.

I saw the production in Newcastle last year, my friend said to me at the end was that she wanted a certain person to watch it again with her. I got the feeling that this was someone that she had experienced these repeated patterns with. She wasn’t alone in that. I half laughed at the irony that by doing that she would avoid saying what was difficult to say. Very powerful stuff.
For more information on Compagnie T-d'U - http://www.cietdu.com

Information on London dates at Ovalhouse - http://www.ovalhouse.com/whatson/detail/all-the-things-you-said-by-compagnie-tdu

Photographs by John FG Stead
Future shows
  • Oval House - London 17 - 28 March, Tues-Sat 7.30pm, Sun 22 March 5pm

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