Unravelling the knot with Nikki and JD
Knot, Warwick Arts Centre, until Feb 20
As someone who, even in his youth, was unable to manage a handstand or a cartwheel, I am always in awe of any form of acrobatics. Knot combines a very sinewy mixture of contemporary dance, acrobatics, acrobalance and gymnastics as the two performers move effortlessly together around the stage and provide their audience with a breathtaking spectacle to a range of appropriate background music. Nikki Rummer and Jean-Daniel Brousse have different backgrounds but their mutual acquisition of circus skills is very much in evidence. However there is much more to this production than their incredible athleticism, strength and artistry. It is a biographical account of themselves and their relationship. On occasions they talk to the audience, sometimes they talk to each other and with their impressive movements and facial expressions we slowly learn more about ‘the invisible string that connects them’. We discover that their relationship is not the romantic one that we had expected but is intimate and tender whilst occasionally becoming argumentative and aggressive. The use of microphones was a bit of a distraction and I would have thought that each performer had sufficient stage presence and projection to have done without them. The audience was invited to a question and answer session with the performers afterwards at which they showed themselves to be extremely likeable and humble individuals with a justifiable pride in their work An hour in their company is highly entertaining, amusing and very well spent.