Shock And Movement (Or Not)

If choreography isn’t choreography, and dance isn’t dance (and yet it all is), what to make of Matthew Bourne, asks Tobi Tobias? “I’m left wondering if Play Without Words isn’t simply a sign of our times, in which the creative powers that be assume their audience needs to be lured by shock tactics—the raucous, the garish, the forbidden, extremes of novelty for novelty’s sake. Surely the insistent use of these means, which quashes the virtues of sincerity and subtlety, is self-defeating. Most of today’s audience is already beyond shock and, what’s more, benumbed by the ever-escalating onslaught.”