Kiss & Cry- and I definitely cried. A playmobil figurine, a doll’s house and a toy train were just some of the weird and wonderful elements of this epic performance. The stage was filled with the creatives of Charleroi Danses, including a cameraman (Julian Lambert). A giant screen hung above them. The action that occurred on stage was filmed live and projected onto this screen for us to watch.
The piece began with a male narrator describing a woman and her five loves, “she could count them on one hand.” And indeed, the dancers in this play created people out of their hands. Positioned in an upside-down peace sign, their fingers became legs, and their hands transformed into a person, a person with a huge spectrum of emotion. Somehow, two hands managed to tell a rollercoaster love story, involving romance, humour and sex. Slight flickers of fingers and gentle caresses were inflicted with such depth that the feeling behind them resonated greatly within me. The genius’s behind this production managed to place an entire personality in the palm of a hand.
The most intimately beautiful part of this show was a sequence when two performers, one male, one female, illustrated their love story to the song, Nothing Compares To You. Most of the movement was contained on a small black platform where their hands could move freely, yet they branched out from this and incorporated their bodies into the dance. As they followed the traces of one another’s frames with their hands, petals lit by a single light fell down on top of them. I felt tears rolling down my cheeks, the purity of their emotion was so present in the room that I could feel it in the air surrounding me.
The use of set added to the fragility and beauty of the piece. The final ‘scene’, involved the female hand being on what appeared to be a beach. Real sand was used, and as her fingers walked across it, I could almost feel it beneath my feet. She then dug a little under the surface and was met with another hand. As this moment I snapped out of my trance and looked away from the screen and onto the stage, where there was a male dancer completely buried in sand from head to toe. As his lover dragged him out from under the sand, their entire bodies were allowed to touch, and for the first time we were given a close-up view of someone’s face. As the pair danced, sand granules fell delicately from his head and shoulders, which in the dimly lit space was absolutely breathtaking.
The Charleroi Danses have managed to capture the beauty and danger of love in the mesmerising Kiss & Cry. It is an absolute must-see that will blow you away. However, as a painfully single 20-something, it does have an air of loneliness to it that may leave you gasping for a gin and tonic on your way out.