The Kinetic System **
PAISLEY ARTS CENTRE
INSPIRED by the archaeologist Andrew Collins’s account of an ancient Middle-Eastern tribe, this latest work by Spinal Chord Projects is nothing if not ambitious. Divided into 16 short scenes, with such grandiose titles as "Body and mind will prevail" and "Decay of technology", the show cites science fiction films The Fifth Element and The Matrix among its references. In reality, it’s more like Blake’s 7. Dressed in shimmery costumes and spouting big words, the performers try to create an atmosphere of megalithic foreboding, but most attempts end up merely comical.
Mercifully, some ethereal aerial work and accomplished dancing come to the rescue. Most of the people involved here are talented members of the Scottish dance scene, and it’s a shame not to see them used more wisely. The show’s creator, Rodolfo Rivas Franco, is a spell-binding performer, which possibly explains why he’s received Arts Council funding for this ill-advised venture. But, ultimately, this show is not a sum of its parts, and the climatic, over-long fight scene only emphasises the self-indulgence of this entire project.