The Spirit of Love

*** WARNING – This piece includes some nude photographs ***

Last night I was lucky enough to be invited to In Between Time’s latest production at the Arnolfini. ‘Spirit’ was performed and created by Florentina Holzinger and Vincent Riebeek and moved me so many ways at once. Described as ‘an ode to spiritual life’ it was thought provoking, adventurous and at times absolutely hilarious.

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I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I entered. The space was decorated with two small tepees, a number of potted flowers and a fountain (at this point turned off). Shortly there entered a nude man moving so beautifully I was immediately transfixed. He was joined by a woman, her movements just as graceful, and there ensured a beautiful pas de deux. True, they were wearing enormous Japanese manga style face heads, but their dance was no less powerful for this.

They told a story, through plastic toys figures, of a mother who blamed her baby daughter for the breakdown of her relationship. Why did she blame the baby? Because she didn’t cry when the boyfriend abused her instead of making love to the mother.

All of a sudden, at the end of this shocking and powerful piece, the masks came off and Holzinger and Riebeek revealed their intentions for the rest of the piece. They, with the help of us, the audience, would create a new theatre piece using some tarot cards and quite a lot of laughter.

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I can’t begin to explain what happened next. There was a lot of laughter – from them and us – some heart in your mouth moments, and just a little but of vodka. The scenes, if they can be called that, were a mesmerising combination of yoga, ballet, acrobatics and experimentation. They told jokes, asked questions, explained their methods with a honesty that can sometimes be lost on stage.

Once again, In Between Time have produced a thought provoking and thoroughly enjoyable production. In particular, Riebeek’s comparison of our appendix to fear seemed to strike a chord with more than one person in the audience – myself included. Love is the purest motivation, and perhaps the only one, and should never be lost to fear.

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