Magazine article The Spectator

CULTURE NOTES - Unfinished Business

Magazine article The Spectator

CULTURE NOTES - Unfinished Business

Article excerpt

The phrase 'community drummers' strikes fear into me . When I read it in the programme notes for Survivor, Antony Gormley's collaboration with Hofesh Shechter, premiered at the Barbican, I paused a beat. The elder cerebral artist paired with the young passionate choreographer: so what exactly is this? In the ladies afterwards I heard the disparaging phrase 'GCSE work'.

Was it music? Was it theatre-making? Was it even dance?

There is no narrative to speak of, but a series of sketches using 139 drummers, a band of string players, guitarists, a cameraman and six dancers, among others.

A figure shelters in a bathtub.

Cannonballs drop from a height on to the stage. There are repetitive metaphors of man's powerlessness : a dancer, harnessed horizontally and thrown into shadow, spins around over a projection of a bubbling waterfall. …

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