Dance: Tangentes, Barbican Theatre, London<img src="http://www.independent.co.uk/template/ver/gfx/onestar.gif"></img >

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The Independent Culture

You sit through some shows waiting for the "poster moment". With Tangentes, by French trampolinist Mathurin Bolze, the enticing image involved a giant hamster wheel with people diving in and out of it. Well, it's there, but it looked so much better in the pictures. Tangentes, appearing as part of the London International Mime Festival, is Bolze's second show as director, following the success of Fenêtres. It's an incoherent splurge, with patches of drama, movement, nudity and circus skills.

Abdeliazide Senhadji stands in a glass box, spluttering in French as the audience sits down. He asks if everyone has tickets, complains about the heat in the box, and about bans on smoking. Forbidding bureaucracy crops up several times, but it's a grumble rather than a theme. It doesn't help that Senhadji's delivery is terrible. Words are lost as he speaks too close to the microphone, or sniggers at his own jokes.

The performance that follows is as cluttered as Goury's stage design. The large trampoline is set into the raised floor, beside a conveyor belt. It is flanked by poles, platforms and that hamster wheel, with a corrugated iron backdrop. A few stuffed dummies are crammed into corners.

As a trampolinist, Bolze is impressive. His springs and somersaults are fine, the landings even better. He just stops, returning gently to solid ground. It's almost like film run backwards: a plunging fall, ending with the performer neatly upright. He bounces lightly onto the high platforms, to the top of the poles.

Still, this isn't set up as a circus display. For every bounce, you have to sit through a lot of dawdling. Bolze seems to aim for a sinister note. He and Marie-Anne Michel both speak from the glass box, murmuring about macabre images or the need for passports. Mathias Tiberghien runs naked on the conveyor belt, while Christian Dubet's lighting casts discreet shadows over his body. The fusion-jazz score, by Akosh Szelevenyi, drones and burbles.

This year's mime festival has been full of shows using dream-logic, hinting at stories or situations. Perhaps this was Bolze's approach, too, but his show has a deadly lack of atmosphere.

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