It is indisputable that Chinese and Taiwanese dance troupes possess an incredible mastery of the human body, and are capable of feats of choreography that are nothing short of magical. So I always knew that, whatever else I experienced during ‘Water Stains on the Wall’ I would be experiencing stunning feats of physicality. I was not wrong.
The best way to described Water Stains is to say that it is sparse – the performance commences with some thirty semi-naked performers assembled on a white stage – and, apart from the fact that the number of performers on the stage constantly ebbed and flowed and that occasionally black clouds passed across the surface of the stage, this is how the performance continued. Although at times there was music, this was not consistent throughout the performance, meaning that there were lengthy periods of near-silence, with the only audible sounds the ‘swoosh’ of the dancers’ feet and clothes as they cavorted across the stage.
This produced an absolutely amazing effect, giving the appearance that the dancers were floating through the air, which was absolutely mesmerising. For about ten minutes. Unfortunately, the performance went for 70 minutes with no interval, and there was absolutely no variation in the music, backdrop or even the nature of the performers’ actions. ‘Minimalist’ in this circumstance is definitely an understatement.
It goes without saying that the performance of each of the dancers was flawless and exactly as choreographed. For those of you who are interested in technical brilliance only, this show is well worth purchasing a ticket to. For everybody else, unless you have an amazing attention span this show is not recommended. Although beautiful to watch, Water Stains is heavy going.
Kryztoff Rating 2.5K
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