An Evening of Meat (March 2011)
The March Performance Group is an exciting dance collective which powerfully explores themes like death, femininity, sex, beauty and exhaustion. Their provocative work can be seen this weekend at ‘At Evening of Meat’ at Dalston’s Old Cholmeley Boys Club. Book now and prepare to be moved.
"Time Out says
PRESS FROM BERLIN:
PRESS FROM OLD VIC:
Review Text by Britta Barthel
This Smell - Out Here - In The Middle Of Nowhere:
An Evening of Meat at The Old Boys Club
written by Britta Barthel
Without a clue what kind of place or performance I am about to go to, I come down a quiet side
street in London's rather rough area around Dalston Junction, looking for the hidden 'Old Boys
Club'. Neither knowing it is hidden, nor what kind of place this would be, I find myself in front of
an old building which reminds of a 19
century boarding school. And then there is this break. The
world changes. By entering the place I enter an image, an atmosphere, a feeling.
The immediate sense of an underground club society comes up. The kind to which you have to be
invited to get in. Of course that is not the case. There are names on a list, but there is still enough
room for people not listed.
I then walk into a space which gives me the impression of entering a church, with the distinct
difference, that this church was taken over by some kind of mysterious ritual. Gothic, dark, obvious
signs for an event, which promises to be highly sensual and yet is a matter of taste. Sofas, chairs as
well as the cloth of a long dining table in the centre of the room are held in noble colours of deep
red, dark blue and of course black. A mix of delicate paintings, a piano in one corner and other
items, useful as well as useless, decorate the room and create a world within itself.
The wall of sound created by a person on the piano and a band right at the entrance - which was at
the fore of my attention before I entered the space and just listened to what happened inside – is
now more of an atmospheric support.
The performers – they get more and more visible now. They are everywhere and seem to be
everyone. There is a clear separation of three groups: On the table are women, sitting in different positions – no movement there. In costumes which
match with the environment: dark, sensual. Indeed. Then there are 'creatures' spread all over the floor. Dressed in black. Then there are the elves. Male dancers, in black dresses who seem to be there to serve wine and food. Still they are performers with a make-up mysteriously reminiscent of swans – Tchaikovsky's Swans. On purpose? And while I have the feeling of being in the middle of a performance from the moment I entered the room around me the performance is about to start now.
The spectacle around me begins to speed up. There are little stories evolving in every corner. It
seems to be the story of seduction which dominates the table area. It is the obvious one, the one we
all know, with women beautiful women moving across a table with lots of body and little fabric.
But then it is not that simple as there are duets evolving, telling us about desire as well of the
inevitable hunt for protection to give and to receive. All this happens in a fluent, bending and
twisting set of movements, which makes the dancers move more and more across this long dining
Desire is all over the space. Down on the floor the creatures create their own world. Some happy
crawling within their own world. Some are seeking. It seems they are searching for something.
They are looking for this lady's attention. She is walking across the space, having a hunted feel to
her. She seems to organise and control things. But the impression is lost at most times. Then again
there is a clear track to follow and her actions make sense. All the time however, she links. With a
dominating attitude, this lady seems to keep control over the action and one may think that the
everything that takes over the whole room from time to time is due to her.
Dinner is being served to the group on the dining table and with all the bodies and movement right
next to the food, they preserve their dignity to an impressive extent. We the group outside is being
served wine and some fingerfood at regular intervals.
Over three hours later I leave the building. My sight is not perfectly clear any more and I have a
feeling that I just enjoyed quite a decadent night. It is a guilty feeling, but not necessarily the bad
For more information go to: http://marchperformancegroup.com/