The Patrick Centre at the Birmingham Hippodrome
March 23, 2017
The really wonderful thing about any work new to you is you can never pre-guess what you’re going to see and so many a new discovery may be made. This is true with knobs on for Igor & Moreno. I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like this and couldn’t guess from one minute to the next what, if anything, was going to happen. I loved every minute of it as, right from the off, they very carefully and unobtrusively parody the received seriousnesses and longueurs of modern dance, dispensing with them, then making them their own. Clever, or what?
Igor and Moreno are two guys in Gilbert and George suits (beautifully cut in playful checks) but nothing here is conventional dance. The first section is made up of mainly contradictorily over-rehearsed, supposedly spontaneously choreographed combative and competitive movements accompanied by a kind of conversational shouting which agreeably smashed the revered silence of dance’s fourth wall to smithereens.
Then they went on to breakfast, a World War One No Man’s Land of bourgeois cohabitation. Here the coffee machine became the Somme offensive of wrong-footing vendettas, a miasma of increasingly unsubtle struggles for one or the other to come out on top; in short, a slightly speeded up and very recognisably claustrophobic domestic real life.
But when the table became a piano and the morning coffee machine dribbled itself into an estuary on the studio floor we knew we were in trouble. Yet somehow the rapprochement became delightfully homely as an unforced kiss became one man breathing and then singing into the others’ body, more M&S than S&M.
Simple, charming, unaffected, and above all, genuinely original. Unpretentious, minimal yet lush and therefore all the more extreme, here the unexpected managed to make everything else previously seen in oh so serious ‘modern’ dance look dull. Quite a result, if you ask me.
Igor and Moreno teeter on the edge of cruelty but their very human sense of delicious, nail-biting humour rather than setting them apart actually puts them in a class of their own.
Really funny, beautifully finished, and just the right length. In my experience only duds labour the point.