Botis Seva

An amazing evening at Laban theatre in Greenwich as the acclaimed choreographer gave us a lesson in social anthropology – and so much more. InNoForm opened with six bare-backed dancers squirming and thrashing in pools of dirty white light like protozoa writhing in the primordial ooze. We were, I felt, witnessing nothing less than the emergence of life on earth. What followed seemed to be the Darwinian evolution of man from ape to autocratic homo sapiens and was brilliantly captured with staccato movements perfectly performed. If the political message seemed blurred by the artistry, the second half of the show went for politics in the raw, with music giving way to hustings oratory and racist chants – but always illustrated with wonderful choreography. There were witty references to Theresa May and Brexit but on the whole the mood became ever darker, eventually erupting into violence as five of the dancers began making monkey noises and throwing bananas at the sixth. All the performers were black, which made it deeply uncomfortable to watch. Finally the troupe spilled into the audience and we found ourselves face-to-face with the hatred that pervades all extremism. It was an astonishing end to an astonishing event that was challenging and exhilarating in equal measure. No wonder it got a standing ovation.

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