Tabea Martin, Field. Photo © Pepijn Lutgerink


Tabea Martin

How to perform the world’s greatest love songs without the actual music? The ‘melo-romantic’ lyrics that always contain the division/collision of you and me, happy together. In Tabea Martin’s FIELD it takes two men and one woman to portray this traditional unit of emotional unity. The dancers form a family-friendly equivalent of The Human Centipede embodying the violence of intimate commitment as colossal entertainment. These bodies transform into a small choir of heavy breathing, a wet melody of sweaty joints slamming against each other. Their ‘Bermuda Triangle kiss’ exposes the love song’s male-dominated power play. Each fool in love constantly seeks a way out of weakness in an undying desire for emotional vitality. FIELD is a lethal competition between several selves, never narrowing down to just the two of us.

Niko Hallikainen

Prokofiev’s grandiose Romeo and Juliet ballroom march fills the darkness. Lights up, and a personable young man commences a countdown of the 100 greatest love songs (main source: Western pop). Eventually another man and a woman join him. Together this tumbling three-headed monster scuttles, scrambles and slides its way through a leapfrog slalom driven by a push-pull dynamic. Apparently the members of this strenuous, attractively edgy trio can’t get enough of each other. There are desperate osculations, climbing clings and a stripping down to gleaming white undies. Swiss choreographer Tabea Martin’s cast (Stephanie Bayle, Carl Staaf and Luca Cacitti) play the FIELD with exhilarating proficiency, but their kinetic complications don’t unravel in layers of complexity; instead they just unspool. This conceptual/physical piece reminds us of the emotional contortions we sometimes put ourselves – and others – through, but the familiarity it engenders isn’t necessarily endearing.

Donald Hutera