Slam Dance

The beauty of dancers floating across the stage, making exquisite patterns for the sake of exquisite patterns — snooze. Or so thinks DV8 Physical Theatre artistic director Lloyd Newson, who used to refer to dance as “the Prozac of the art forms.” He pulled off a quote like that because the dancers in his troupe are physical powerhouses, throwing themselves at one another — literally, with great force — in the primary service of content and story, not technique. He even uses the torturously vague physical theatre in his title to bring the point home. The meaning is clear: don’t wait around for the grand finale grand jeté. Frequent early themes for DV8 included homosexuality, body types, disability, sexual politics, and even public bathroom sex; 1998’s Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men captured serial killing, homosexuality, and desire as four men flung themselves around the stage. After 20 years of work, DV8 now leaves less blood on the boards, and has tossed around topics like glamour and celebrity. To Be Straight with You is a foray into “verbatim theater”: the words in the piece are taken straight from interviews from 85 people on issues like homosexuality, cultural tradition, religion, and injustice; homophobic violence plays a strong, bleak role. This time around, DV8s words hit harder than its movements.
Nov. 12-14, 8 p.m., 2009

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