DV8 Physical Theatre: To Be Straight With You. Nottingham Playhouse, Friday April 11.
Unlike most contemporary dance companies, DV8 specialise in adding more overtly theatrical elements to their productions, making integral use of the spoken word throughout. For this performance, the text was entirely sourced from specially recorded interviews, which explored issues of sexual identity and its acceptance and repression within different religious and ethnic cultures.
Thematically speaking, this was a hard-hitting, unflinching examination of homophobia and its consequences. As such, it challenged the cosy assumptions of our supposedly more enlightened times, without ever needing to resort to obvious soap-box tactics.
But where did all of this leave To Be Straight With You as a contemporary dance performance? With so much to challenge the mind, some of the more visual aspects were in danger of being swamped. For the most part, the balance was deftly struck – but a notable lessening of dramatic tension in the closing scenes brought the evening to an unexpectedly subdued conclusion.