Cold Blood is a dance show where the dancers use only their hands to tell seven stories of death. Impossible? Bizarre? Maybe all of those things but also absolutely incredible. Absolutely astonishing, perfectly poignant and jaw-droppingly beautiful.
Using their hands and exquisite miniature sets, multiple worlds are created for the audience. The thought and deliberation that has gone into the choreography is unthinkable, never has the hand been treated with such careful consideration. The hand becomes little people acting out stories, they become life and death, memories and feelings. I will certainly never look at hands in the same way again!
The large projection screen above the performers magnifies their movements, zooming in on the tiny worlds. A particularly magical scene was a misty forest with haunting trees, a jaw-dropping scene took place on an icy lake where water droplets became dance partners. The entire production had such attention to detail that it was difficult to know where to look and what to focus on. The tap dancing figures in black and white and the opera at the theatre were beautiful but the hands in the house were particularly magnificent. Each room represented a different age and watching the hand with the miniature walking stick prop at the end was unbelievably touching.
Brussels-born dancer and choreographer Michèle Anne De Mey and Belgian film maker and playwright Jaco Van Dormael have worked together to bring this to the stage and it is utter perfection. The plot of seven deaths celebrates life and brings many feelings to the stage. We laugh, we cry, we gasp and feel so connected to these bizarre humanoid figures that embody humanity. Two deaths stood out – the tragic hilarious car-wash death whose story was delivered by the dead-pan narrating voice with such sass and the final astronaut scene accompanied by David Bowie’s famous track Space Oddity. I had to sit in silence after the show ended trying desperately to remember all the amazing things I had seen in the previous hour and a half.