Review: Peter Schauffus in Satisfaction at Apollo Theatre

Performance: 28 Aug - 8 Sep 07
Reviewed by Mel Klein - Friday 31 August 2007

‘My dad would have loved that’ said another less than satisfied punter coming out of the first night of Peter Schaufuss’ ‘dancical’ (his description) set to music of the Rolling Stones. Indeed there was plenty of dad-style dancing in the aisles at the end not so much spontaneous as proactively enforced by the cast. Much of the posturing and posing that was to be seen on stage brought back memories of Pans People circa 1978 – and yes, your dad was always in the room for that bit of Top of the Pops. Apparently the aim was to recreate the bad boy excitement of those early Stones hits. Unfortunately the choreography was so mannered and dated that it had the reverse affect of actually making the Stones sound like a sort of James Last ‘now that’s what I call music’ cover of themselves. The Stones emasculated – well that’s some sort of record.

The depressing thing about this West End show is that many of the people who see it will think they are seeing contemporary, modern, cutting edge dance – and having ticked that box probably won’t feel much inclined like doing it again. Earlier this summer just afew hundred yards away at the Coliseum they could have seen ballet from the Bolshoi that literally takes your breath away with its athleticism and splendour. Practically any week of the year you will find better dance than this on a stage somewhere in London. And contemporary dance on stage to the Stones isn’t new – Christopher Bruce did it years ago with Roosterand it worked – becoming a crowd pleaser for Rambert for years. Pity the poor dancers who were obviously working hard with what they got..

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