Taiwan Season: Together Alone

An exquisite piece, Together Alone, danced nude by Zoltán Vakulya and Chen-Wei Lee of Art B&B, is a profound meditation on relationships through a sensitive exploration of the body, its muscular tensions and constraints and the simple joy of its beauty. This is not a sexual show, but a celebration of intimacy where two bodies are joined together throughout and where one goes the other must follow.

A profound meditation on relationships through a sensitive exploration of the body

Neon squiggles of light are overhead and electronic music, a low note with higher restless notes above, create a mesmeric atmosphere as the woman stands behind the man, her arms exploring his outstretched in front of him. Moving from touch point to touch point, they encircle each other, sometimes elbow to elbow, hip to hip, back to back or spin round facing each other, brow touching brow. Sometimes they lean away from each other, stomachs still touching or face each other, feet together, their heels only slightly lifting in little jumps.

Given the limitations of the body, only one part of the body touching at any time, it is extraordinary how fascinating this is. Although the movement is repetitive, tiny variations prevent monotony and increase the intensity. The slow movement lets the audience bring their own stories to what unfolds, as at times the couple strain against each other but must negotiate if they are not to fall apart. The human dynamic of relationships is therefore enacted.

And just before the slow movement loses the audience’s attention, Benny Goodman’s Sing, Sing, Sing blares out and the couple break into a jive, knees high, kicking out and leaping round the stage in joyful abandon - still touching, hand to hand.

The next section is even stronger for the previous contrast and slower than ever. This time the couple roll on the floor, head and knees tucked in, crouched and folded over each other in numerous intricate combinations, head to toe, or vice versa, crawling over and under, but always stuck together. The strain on their muscles is apparent as each has to support the other as they roll over as slowly as possible and the parallel with the difficulties of human relationships is clear.

Finally, standing up, they spin and spin and we begin to wonder how will they end? Wrapped in each other’s arms as at the beginning? No, just as throughout the show their movements have constantly surprised us, the end is something shocking and unexpected. On reflection the ending is the only possible one and we are left to ponder on the deeper meaning, that however close a relationship, we are always alone.

Reviews by Stephanie Green

Scottish Ballet

The Secret Theatre

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Antigone, Interrupted

★★★★
Festival Theatre

Scottish Ballet: The Snow Queen

★★★★
Royal Lyceum Theatre

An Edinburgh Christmas Carol

★★★★★
Festival Theatre

Rite of Spring

★★★
Dance Base

Juliet & Romeo

★★★★

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

'Together Alone talks a lot about how to live together. We tasked ourselves to never let go of each other. That creates huge limitations. It’s just the two of us, but what we experience parallels society: how we deal with people, how we use each other, how we collaborate. Sometimes we help each other, sometimes we are against each other, sometimes we need to negotiate. The relationship is always changing. It has difficulties, it has moments of being smooth, it will change again, but nothing lasts forever' (Chen-Wei Lee).

Most Popular See More

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets