Kiss & Cry

Theatre, Drama
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'Kiss & Cry'


'Kiss & Cry'

Erotic, sensual, funny, sad: all words that could be used to describe hands that lead this extraordinary show. Yes, you read it right – hands.

Part of this beautiful piece from Brussels-based dance theatre company Charleroi Danses about memory and love is an elegant pas de deux between those things on the end of your wrists. In ‘Kiss & Cry’, hands become exceptionally expressive beings: among much else, we see them dance, have sex, get angry and transform into monsters.

This show waltzes through the mediums of dance, video and theatre. It’s a choreographed live film where actors move swiftly around the stage – through tightly timed scene changes – as they bring tiny doll’s-house worlds of train sets and living rooms to life. The moments they stage are filmed and projected on to a white screen at the back of the theatre. We see both the finished images and how the company make them, and each perspective is intriguing.

There’s a narrative of sorts, the story of Gisele who learned to love at 12 years old when she touched hands for seconds on the train with a boy she never saw again. Since that point she searches for love, and we meet her four subsequent partners, for whom her feelings never match the intensity of the fleeting first. Charleroi have created a surreal image-driven cinematic journey through Gisele’s memory where things are distorted, enlarged and confused.

Tiny scenarios merge into each other as we move from spooky, odd swimming fingers to strange desert-covered places, to tiny train sets with cameras up close. It’s entirely magical and hugely creative – hands twist and swirl through clouded water to create a dream sequence, a bulb dragged through sand and filmed from underneath becomes the light from an alien ship flying through the night.

At 90 minutes the show is a little long and the story is really just incidental. But the beauty and simplicity of Charleroi’s imagery is often breathtaking and this playful, engaging story will transport you to a world of illusion and imagination.

By: Daisy Bowie-Sell


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