Cristina Caprioli: Cut-outs & Trees


The piece was a strange concoction of different elements that didn't sit comfortably or uncomfortably together and didn't manage to establish a complete identity. Lots of very pointy feet (which always feels just a little perverted to me…), Grande Batements and a few Pirouettes combined with this bizarre laid-back attitude to the movement, to performing. I say bizarre because it felt assumed, imposed. You know how this looks – the slightly hunched shoulders curving around a collapsed chest, gently wobbling head illustrating the lack of tension in the neck, relaxed fingers and eyes just a bit glazed – the concentrated and internal dance. Yet the movement vocabulary was fairly generic. I wasn't curious about the performers' journey as I feel it was being suggested I should be, I wasn't inspired to walk around the performance space and take a look from different angles.

It felt as though they were showing me an Internal Performance State, let's call it 'performing internality', and using that state to justify or create connections between seemingly random choreographic decisions and changes in idea. The dancers would, at any given moment, drop one movement state – say, being fascinated by a sickled foot on the end of an extended leg – and then touch the dancer beside them they had just been ignoring or go into retire and bust out a couple pirouettes. The choices seemed like aesthetic ones under the guise of internal imperative and profundity.

Things did happen, like one dancer putting on a pair of Nikes dancing a bit and then taking them off, and three dancers danced their way into many layers of clothing and then danced with their trousers around their ankles, and then with their tops pulled over their faces, and they left the space and returned to it and danced on the floor and got up again, and danced touching each other a little bit. Many things were suggestive and then dropped. I usually like pieces that don't go anywhere and leave you with the feeling that nothing goes anywhere and life is futile (mhmm).

I was happy to be sitting on the floor and that there was no Front and that I could stare at other audience members sitting across from me. I also enjoyed watching the stage crew manipulate the pulleys for the set's 'trees' – there was more tension between those two guys in their effort to find synchronicity than in the piece.


Cut-outs & Trees by Cristina Caprioli, 20-21 October 2010, Riverside Studios, London