SKIN, The Place, London

3.00

 

There's a lot of self-consciousness in Pia Meuthen's dance work SKIN, starting with the audience.

The work is performed in the round, with performers sitting just inside a fine gauze barrier. Four dancers encounter each other in the centre, everyone trying to deal with everyday contact while hoping to meet someone. Sometimes they include the audience in the conversation; you might find yourself with a dancer writhing across your feet.

Born in Germany, Meuthen is now based in the Netherlands with her own company Panama Pictures. SKIN , designed by Katleen Vinck, suggests a stylised everyday world. Inside and outside the gauze ring, railings and tree stumps suggest a park, though the trees are painted pale grey. Jan Van Kampen's bleached lighting is harsh and industrial.

To a soundtrack of traffic noise, the dancers come and go outside the ring, dressed in street clothes. Once inside, they ignore or jostle past each other. We hear their thoughts in voiceover: Andrea Beugger worries about her false modesty, her failure to return phone calls. She could fix this, but not with the friends she already has: "I need new people".

Lucius Romeo Fromm nervously introduces himself to everybody, shaking hands for far too long. Aurélie Camil seems responsive, but he's far too twitchy to notice; still needy, he keeps moving on to the next person. Miguel Fion Durán seems the most confident, though he finds it hard to stop talking. The soundtrack, by Jeroen Strijbos and Rob van Rijswijk, goes from hubbub to beats or atmospheric chords.

Though they manage to make contact, the dancers can't stick with it. They drift off again, moving into dances, perching on benches with the audience and wriggling on again. Sometimes they sidle into each other's dances. As Beugger sweeps one leg into the air, Fromm crawls under it, until she's climbing over him. The dances are full of reaching and clutching. Even when they're wrapped around each other, nobody gets a secure hold.

Meuthen's picture of insecurity and need is familiar, but often nicely observed. Her characters see life as a test they're not quite passing. As they go through the awkwardness of day-to-day contact, the brightly-lit performance space pushes their social unease into the audience: we may have to deal with it, and them.

Run ended

Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Hollywood

'Whether he left is almost immaterial'TV
Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May

film

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before