A man and a woman: that’s what you get in Jan Martens’ brilliant piece of dance. Onstage, dancers Kimmy Ligtvoet and Steven Michel enact a story of love with their bodies, complemented by music and projected text. It’s minimalism with maximum exertion: the two embrace, grip and lift each other in the most difficult positions, pushing their bodies to the extreme. Romance and sexuality are reduced to their physical essence, and the sense of impending exhaustion has an erotic edge. More than just a feat of athleticism, it’s a matter of suspense: can the couple maintain their strength, their balance, their stamina? With each new contortion the tension mounts, and the portrayal of love and intimacy grows more profound.
There’s a naïveté to this performance, in the best sense of the word. Martens’ portrait of hetero love is straightforward, simple and more concerned with essence than nuance; that’s where its power lies. The tribute to love songs, the emotive music and the reduction of romance to basic gestures are as broad as they are deep. The show is nothing less than a feat of grace and endurance, and nothing more than an evocation of the oldest story in the book.
A seriously intimate duet… It evokes exactly the clammy-bodied, wide-eyed, post-coital state of exhausted exhilaration, and it shows that all-consuming desire can be difficult and destructive too.
—The Evening Standard