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Thick and Tight: Review of Short & Sweet – a life-enhancing show that brings many people together | To dance

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Eleanor Perry (Tight) and Daniel Hay-Gordon (Thick) have spent a decade building a unique style, which combines drag, drama, queer culture, lip-syncing, design, mime and high quality dance. They’re amazing, and even Perry’s absence from the scene due to Covid couldn’t stop the quality of their working relationship and the power of their imaginations from shining through in this mixed bill of short plays.

All are choreographed and directed by them, although some are danced by others. The final piece reveals the duo at their finest level of sophistication, even though Perry pops up via video link. Cage & Paige: We could go on and on combines the words and movements of avant-garde composer John Cage with Elaine Paige, queen of the musical, in a hilarious but also revealing way. As Cage says, “There are two things that mean nothing; one is music and the other is laughter. It doesn’t have to mean anything, in order to give us deep pleasure.

The whole bill, part of the London International Mime Festival, is powered by similar principles. Ode to Edith is a tribute to the eccentric poet Edith Sitwell, performed by members of the Corali Dance Company (on stage) and the Camberwell Incredibles (on screen), two groups who work with various apprentice artists. The dance itself, complete with gorgeous net wigs and jeweled hands, is relatively simple, but performed with considerable verve, and its point – that society determines who is a foreigner and who accepts – is resonant.

In other numbers, Connor Scott dances as Sid Vicious in a vignette that reveals the singer’s vulnerability as much as his attitude; Harry Alexander twists and turns like Twiggy, picking up her gestures despite their physical dissimilarities; Azara Meghie offers a warm tribute to the inspiring qualities of Grace Jones; and Oxana Panchenko does a debauchery impression of Rasputin. Each piece is beautifully performed and enriching. Short and very sweet indeed.

Thick and Tight: Review of Short & Sweet – a life-enhancing show that brings many people together | To dance

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