Let’s talk about love

Matchbox Theatre presents a dance-theatre work, If These Bodies Could Speak, looking at desperation and heartbreak in love. The award winning duo Nicola Haskins and Bailey Snyman have brought an intensely charged work to the Cape Town fringe.

Over the years I’ve watched these consummate performers thrill and entertain audiences, from their early days in First Physical Theatre Company in Grahamstown. What they do, they do well. There is such quality of movement in their bodies, they make it all look effortless.

If These Bodies Could Speak questions whether our feelings, instincts, emotional reactions are just chemicals rushing around our bodies? Projected images of blood cells, firing neurons, DNA, highlights the question – where does our body end, and our ‘being’ begin?

Some interesting questions are asked about communication in love. We have ears to listen with, but do our hearts always hear? A Skype ringtone pierces the space… The woman’s image is projected against the man’s chest. She’s in his heart but this doesn’t always mean a fulfilled and happy relationship.

Increasingly frantic, sharp flinging movement reveals the disintegration between the lovers. They twist and turn in bed. The bed becomes a dance floor of its own – angry, they hurl themselves and each other across, over and off the bed. It’s visually rousing and theatrically impressive.

How do our chemistries align with others? How and why do we ‘choose’ who we love? A gentle, swooning dance connects two people – their undulating movements create momentary hearts, it seems.

Darkness, lights, shadows are employed to reflect the states our relationships move between. Lonely now, but not forever. In the darkness, torches light body parts, a mouth. Why don’t we just say what we mean? She dreams of a shadowy figure, who manipulates her. Again, she’s alone.

But don’t despair. A tender duet sees the man and woman surrendering, opening themselves to possibilities. Unexplainable, we take love, make love, want love – because it feels good. Do we really need to know why..?

Snyman and Haskins deliver what we’ve come to expect from them. Flawless dancing and a slickly crafted production. – Sarah Roberson

If These Bodies Could Speak’s last performance is tonight @ 7.30pm @ Hiddingh Hall. Click here for production info.

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