SKINNyFEST 3 Transposition

Article by Jenny Peebles | 14 Aug 2006
Teamwork, one of India's leading dance companies, almost didn't get to perform Transposition this year. With their sets held up at customs due to the Heathrow bomb scare, the show was forced to start several days late. However, when it comes down to it, this piece, which promises Indian dance and puppets, is actually a bit vacant. It's a standard sketch of a girl torn between two men who (wait for it) are best friends. Projected light effects of blinking eyes and spirals, and a confusing voiceover, are not equal to the task of interesting the audience in the narrative. A crucial point about severed heads, for example, never quite becomes clear.

The cast are let down by a male principal who seems to have been schooled in a sort of mincing, stagey melodrama thought to have disappeared with silent film. The female lead moves commandingly and with enviable grace, however, and is the only dancer to outshine her puppet likeness. The puppeteers breathe life into their wooden friends with sensitivity and charm, despite the difficulties of having these outsized torsos strapped onto them like giant, limb-sprouting flak jackets. The artsy, attractive puppets and props are the best thing about this production since some brisk and rhythmic set pieces fail to make up for a general flimsiness.
Zoo Southside, Until Aug 28, 19.30, £9 (£7), Teamwork/Out of the Blue