Fugue in Two Colors

If Carl Knif’s Fugue in Two Voices is a joke, then it’s a dud. Having seen his excellent, visceral and arresting Red in 2016 at the Edinburgh Fringe, I was expecting a memorable piece at the very least. Set to Shostakovitch’s powerful preludes and fugues for piano, it aims to juxtapose these strict forms to seven ‘rambling’ dancers. The word ‘rambling’ sets off warning bells. It’s as if Knif has decided to be completely different to Red which is fine as long as it’s interesting but sadly this tedious show at 70 minutes feels interminable.

Random, of course, is the key word.

Knif’s liking for improvisation-based choreography demonstrates all the pitfalls. One wonders if it is actually taking place in performance: paired dancers imitate each other's movements, one slightly behind the other as if not knowing what’s coming next, one female dancer stumbles at one point, the male with long blonde ponytail lying on a table nervously checks the edge as if he fears he may fall. This imprecision characterises the show.

It feels like Knif has abnegated all responsibility as a choreographer. The ‘surprise’ entry of dancers from the front row of the stage is such a cliché only high school students would think it original. Dancers square off crouched like sumo wrestlers or swing away to just walk randomly about the stage. There are no arresting moments or fine lines. It is just a series of instagram images, unoriginal and at times, like anoraks used as matadors’ capes, bewilderingly random.

Random, of course, is the key word. Random objects are introduced: a mic stand, a long blonde wig, a tree branch, a mirror etc, etc. Even the steel poles, which could have led to some interesting patterns and shapes, left me worried that someone was going to be unintentionally impaled. Scrolling through the internet afterwards I discovered an interview in Amusa (21.09.21) where Knif says he wants the dancers and music to ‘carry the work between wild, hilarious, precise and thoughtful expression’. So why doesn’t the blurb say this? Why isn’t it clear in the performance this is supposed to be playful? Even if I knew this beforehand, I don’t think I’d find the show any more fun. I feel like a viewer seeing Duchamp’s urinal (signed R.Mutt) in an art gallery for the first time and wondering if it is we the viewers who are taken for mutts.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by Stephanie Green

MultiStory

Starting From First Position

★★★★
Dance Base at ZOOTV

Iconnotations

★★★★★
Dance Base at ZOOTV

Opia

★★★★★
Summerhall Online

Grin

★★★
Dance Base

Family Portrait

★★★★★
Dance Base at ZOOTV

Fugue in Two Colors

★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Discovering the ancient relationship between music and dance, Fugue in Two Colors invites you to explore the expressive power of movement. Using the strict musical form of Dmitri Šostakovitš’s preludes and fugues as a juxtaposed with the rambling movement of six dancers, the focus is on the dancer as a perceiving and sensing being. Deliberately distorting, breaking and reworking the relationships between the prelude and fugue, the characteristics of the choreography and audiovisuality the performance delivers to the audience the creation of a third generation adaptation of the traditional form.

Most Popular See More

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Anything Goes

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets