As a mournful cello plays, Sarah Gatzonis dances a playful ballet around three sturdy wine barrels. She’s naked except for her boots and a vine branch which she shakes at us playfully. Before long, a man enters and forces her to cover her nakedness so they can get down to the serious business of winemaking. The rest of the cast enter and what unfolds is an hour of sensory delight as we are introduced to the smells, rhythms and emotions of the creation of a fine wine.
Whispers of desire and lust give way to friendly embraces, offers of spices and eventually wine
In the Wine is as delightful and cheeky as a good vintage. There’s a firmly ancestral feel to the piece, like observing an ancient ritual passed down over thousands of years. There’s wine and love and sex and violence wrapped in a sensual landscape of smells and physical intimacy. The cast engages with the audience and whispers of desire and lust give way to friendly embraces, offers of spices and eventually wine.
The music, performed by cast members Tristan Carter and Charley Davenport, is both rustic and intoxicating. The cast dance around and atop barrels, which they roll around and use as percussion creating a dizzying rhythm, beating on the barrels, the floor, each other and several cajóns of varying sizes.
The choreography by Sacha Copland is engaging and compellingly conveys the shifting moods and politics of the winemakers. Tristan Carter swings between playful and menacing in a standout performance amongst an incredibly tight cast; you’d be hard placed to find better company over a bottle of wine.