The strength of the success of Deborah Colker’s latest creation entitled ‘Cruel’ is very much steeped in her exceptional ensemble of dancers whom as a by-product of their talent, execute their choreographer’s visual dialogue in a captivatingly pristine manner.

It is clear that the dancers embody Colker’s expression with every movement they take, channeling the comment of their choreographer into their individual performance. This does not go to say that the skill or precision of the performer is ever compromised; in fact it’s quite the opposite in also proving to be a great showcase of their expertise.

The topic of ‘Cruel’ claims to be an exploration of relationships and the cruel nature they can take. The subject is most definitely explored; however, one can’t help but desire a little more in terms of an exploration of the topic, especially in regards to the cruel aspects of love. It seems we scratch the surface of something that could have collapsed into something much larger.

Now a signature of Deborah Colker’s work, large apparatus dictate the drive of many of the sections of performance; from a wheeling gargantuan table to a series of ever revolving mirrors. The latter is a particularly striking visual moment in which the reflective surfaces are used to create other-worldly fragmented bodies and mind boggling reflections.

The merits of this production are very much in its opulent aesthetics, and what brilliant visuals they are, however, one can’t help but crave a little more from some short fallings in terms of the exploration of the topic it presents.

- Ben Wooldridge