Adelaide Festival 2020: Cold Blood

Where: Ridley Centre, Adelaide Showgrounds

When: 7 Mar 7:00pm, 8 Mar 2:00pm

How much: $30 – $79

When trying to explain Cold Blood in a sentence to someone since I’ve seen the show, a jumble of words comes out, ‘The hands represent people, but it’s similar to puppetry, and it’s filmed live in front of you… It’s awesome, basically’.

Belgian husband and wife team conceptualised this creation by combining their talents. Jaco Van Dormael as a director (Mr Nobody, 2013) and Michèle Anne De Mey as a dancer and choreographer.

With the Kiss & Cry Collective formed in 2012, a troupe including writers, cinematographers, and designers, they created a poignant tale following sevens deaths, all told through hand motions, sets and props.

Written by prominent Belgian author Thomas Gunzig, the story is expressive and lively, with generous lashes of dark humour. The show has references to pop culture weaved throughout, with nods to classic Hollywood, Kubrick, and David Lynch.

Some of the elements have a homemade element, using the reflections of water, silhouettes, and adorable miniature sets. The lighting was so inventive, playing a prominent role within the performance, and the cinematography was so sleek, creating a distinct sensuousness.

This new and unique concept is filmed live in high definition and projected to a screen above, the eight or so performers and camera operators below. You simultaneously watch what the camera sees and the making of. I’ve never witnessed anything like it, an idea so deceptively simple but executed astoundingly well.

The show is choreographed so tightly, one mistake could ruin the flow of the performance. Some of the dance numbers in Cold Blood are unreal, enthralling the audience. The kaleidoscopic climax is utterly mesmerising and earned a well-deserved standing ovation.

The cinematography, theatrical, and dance elements melded together perfectly. From hearing the concept of Cold Blood, it may seem gimmicky, but in reality, it’s a truly unique and genuine art form that is guaranteed to move you.

5 out of 5 stars.

– Milly Farmer

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