Vanishing Point

Dafin Antoniadou, Constantine Skourlis, Alexandros Vardaxoglou

We open on a mound of entangled limbs covered in black spots. Whatever this creature is, it’s alive; its sonorous, deep exhales invade the stage. The unidentified critter lies in a square prison of bright white lights that flicker with the pulses of the music, as if monitoring the animal’s vital signs. The beast twitches, squirming to liberate itself, but never reaches its goal, one of its limbs always entrapping another like a straitjacket.

Vanishing Point depicts a tug of war between dependence and the need to dominate. It plays visual mind games with the audience, daring us to figure out how many bodies make up its snake-skinned protagonist. The dancers impress with their stamina, mutual trust and contortion abilities. But the tick-tick-booms of the music fail to add the urgency and tension needed for the piece to truly surprise.

Sedera Ranaivoarinosy

An intricate pile of limbs, flanked on three sides by alternately flickering neon strips, centres our attention. We’re quickly fastened in visual confusion – the kind that keeps you hooked – and it takes very little onstage movement to get us there. I know what I’m watching but I can’t see it; the individual performers disappear in a lying embrace of sorts that is the very image of fragmentation. What I can see resembles a rather large, slightly unnerving insect. It starts to untangle, then slowly roams the square before turning into elegant wrestling.

This suggestive image draws on a technical composition that is meticulously executed. But the puzzling effect is amplified by the cracks and fractures in the bass tones, lighting, and the spherical blue shapes on otherwise transparent, snugly fitted costumes, making individual body parts look like multitudes. Unlike its title suggests, Vanishing Point leaves a spark of wonder behind in the dark.

Bas Blaasse

A deep, low drone shakes us to the core as flickering lights reveal a mound of tangled limbs. How many creatures are in there? Four? Five? Panelled black and flesh unitards make it impossible to tell. They’re already trying to escape each other – limbs shuddering with the effort; legs breaking free and kicking the air only to be sucked back into the fleshy snarl.

As the lights jolt to life, bodies start to partially untangle. It’s like Twister for virtuosos as they inch, roll and scuttle around the stage. Now we start to see faces – pushing between limbs as if trying to be born only to retreat back into the ‘womb’. The bodies create some beautiful shapes as they navigate around each other and there are even moments of tenderness – was that almost a kiss? Even in Vanishing Point’s dystopian world, perhaps the greatest fear is losing connection with others – and ourselves.

Karina Buckley

It’s not uncommon to feel disoriented at the start of a show – darkness, new visual and aural information, it can all take a while to settle into place. But Vanishing Point takes this to a whole new level. Fifteen minutes in, it’s still unclear what’s going on or even what we’re looking at. Several arms and legs are intertwined, held together by an invisible string that jerks them back into place each time they attempt to disentangle.

Who these limbs belong to is a mystery (there’s not a single head in sight) and a delicious one at that. Trying to figure out how many people are actually on stage is such an interesting challenge, to give the game away here would be cruel. Suffice to say clever costuming, lighting design and the dancers’ ability to move as one writhing, arachnid mass makes Vanishing Point a fascinating take on emotional co-dependency and theatrical trickery.

Kelly Apter