Wednesday, 6 August 2003

Two Suits and The Grand Opening, Aug 6


Two Suits and The Grand Opening  
by Paul Roberts and David Corbet
La Mama at the Courthouse,  August 6 to 16, 2003
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on August 6

Two Suits is a cheeky, surprising and clever piece of movement based humour.

Paul Roberts and David Corbet devised and performed this show. They wear business suits, perhaps the most inappropriate clothing for dancers. The suits only makes it all the more peculiar and entertaining when they start leaping, lifting, balancing and clowning in charcoal grey Peter Jacksons.

The pair do talk in the forty-five minute show but it is often a lead in to a movement piece and the most interesting work they do is purely physical. The opening scene is a movement duet that sets the tone for the following pieces.

The style is based in contact improvisation, a form of contemporary movement or dance built around performers being in physical contact, using each other's weight and energy to flow through the space in a duet. The work is mostly either whimsical or hilarious but there is one scene that is dark.

The second part begins with Corbet rehearsing a conference welcome address. This takes a quirky turn that builds a handshake into a series of startling lifts.

Roberts follows this with a solo piece that is probably the most clown-like and comical routine. He is bored at work but the music he turns on to alleviate his boredom send shim into a wonderfully contagious jazzy clown dance.

Another piece sees them dancing off the walls in a modern version of Donald O'Connor's memorable Hollywood routine. When Paul decides to change careers, he settles on film script writing. When David realises it involves having your name in the credits he is finally excited.

They act out the movies, the first is a sweet little love story meting of two businessmen who bump into each other in the street, shake hands and don't want to let go. The last is tinged with violence and menace as one man threatens another, forcing him to hand over his jacket, ties, shirt and finally his pants.

The show is warm, funny and the two performers are charming as all get out. Two Suits is worth a look and is an accessible way into understanding contemporary movement.

By Kate Herbert

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