Silent Movie

h2dance company
Leap Dance Festival
Unity Theatre
Tuesday 28th February 2006

Reviewed by Helen Grey

Silent Movie, according to the programme, ‘explores the glamorisation of violence in film and TV through the destructiveness of the femme fatale.’ The hour-long show consists of just two talented dancers, Rachel Krische and Heidi Rustgaard, dressed as elegant film noir characters. They examine, through a combination of dance, film and narration, the portrayal of women and violence in 40’s film.

To music reminiscent of that found on a Colombo film, courtesy of Franz Waxman and Ron Web, the dancers use props such as toy guns, smoking cigarettes and a hand held camera to recreate murder and violence. Throughout the performance the audience is aware that it is a production, the dancers confer and reposition one another to capture the ‘perfect shot.’ They examine how the portrayal of women during this era was not real and how most of what we see is staged. The women perform a performance.

The dancing was professional and of high quality. Heidi convinced you at times that there was someone else in the theatre pulling and pushing her about as she flung herself around the stage.

The show contains humour, illustrated when the two women try to kill one another with plastic guns, and a more sinister vibe brought in by the use of the hand held camera, which is displayed on a large screen at the back of the stage. At one point Heidi lies on the floor with her top raised, tights pulled down and her lipstick smeared across her face. The image displayed through the camera causes some unease within the audience, but the dancers are quick to remind you that it is all staged when Rachel shouts: “This is were you stop breathing Heidi.”

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