First the title: (deep breath) All The Things You Said You Never Said Before You Thought You Could Ever Say. This probing dance-theatre performance from Compagnie TDU explores the nature of human relationships and the disjunction between our outward behaviour and our inward desires. The four performers — Gema Galiana, Guillaumarc Froideveaux, Zuzuna Kakalikova and Anthony Nikolchev — play two halves of the same couple. As their fragmented story unfolds we are presented with two realities: a relationship lost to the chaos of life and love lived through a second chance.
The show is visually impressive, the simple stage space coming alive as the performers weave around the set, the chairs and table seemingly an extension of their bodies, incorporated seamlessly into the cast’s movement. The life lost and the life relived run alongside each other, creating contrasts both physical and verbal. There are some poignant juxtapositions, for example, where terse, petty arguments are undercut by the enacting of intimacy and desire, as one couple argues and the other dances an alternative reality.
The performers switch between moods and scenes effortlessly, and at its most powerful All The Things You Said… has its audience moving from laughter to pained silence in an instant. The concept and the skill of the performers prove the emotive potential of this show, however the lack of real character progression or emotional intensification means that while this performance is intellectually and visually stimulating, it doesn’t leave any lasting visceral impact.
That said, there is an absorbing delicacy and simplicity in the way that the epic intertwines with the quotidian. The show plunges the audience below the surface-level reality of social life and though it doesn’t leave us gasping for breath, it does remind us that what goes on above the surface can threaten to drown our subconscious desires.
By Savannah Whaley