Peeping Tom: 32 rue Vandenbranden, dance review: The music is triumphantly odd

Tonight's show at the Barbican Theatre is part of the London International Mime Festival

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The Independent Culture

A group of trailer homes huddle under a huge sky, snow sleeted up against their sides. Belgian collective Peeping Tom’s 32 rue Vandenbranden shows stylised behaviour against a hyperreal set. In the middle of nowhere, this tiny community still can’t get away from each other.

Part of the London International Mime Festival, the show’s six performers range from contortionists to mezzo-soprano Euridike De Beul. As they brood, try to hide secrets and deal with extreme weather, it’s often very funny: Seoljin Kim fights against a howling wind, clinging to the edge of a trailer and lifting his whole body into the air, as if about to be blown away. Then they turn off the sound effect, and he falls splat to the ground.

The music is triumphantly odd, with De Beul belting out "Bellini" and then Pink Floyd’s "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". The dancers literally struggle with their baggage, physical and emotional; Jos Baker carries Maria Carolina Vieira slung over his shoulders like a rucksack, tugging at her hooked legs as if the straps didn’t fit.

The ending is weaker: what’s effective as a dark streak is less interesting as the show sits down to dwell on it.

Until 31 January. Box office 020 7638 8891

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