Retrospective Exhibitionist

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 August, 2005, 12:00am

Retrospective Exhibitionist

Miguel Gutierrez

Hong Kong Fringe Club

Reviewed: August 25

Miguel Gutierrez didn't waste much time getting to the 'exhibitionist' part of this show. The New York-based dancer stomped into the Studio Theatre, starkers (spare a cap, a pair of socks and trainers), to the soundtrack of U2's New Year's Day. He then went about setting up his props: a TV set, a mirror, lamp, chair, recording devices and a couple of weights, which he lifted in front of the mirror as a pre-show warm-up.

Then he put on some clothes and went straight to his first short piece in which he showed an old video of himself answering questions from an audience, talking about improvisation. Simultaneously, Gutierrez (in real time) repeated exactly what he said on tape - including the 'hmm' and 'err's - while he read from a script. The irony was clever.

The rest of the hour-long show was made up of short but very physical dance pieces that made good use of his props.

Retrospective Exhibitionist was very personal, and self-indulgent at times. The focus was on Gutierrez, but then the dancer constantly reminded us that the performance was about him. In one part, he repeatedly yelled: 'Look!' [at me!], and just before the performance ended, he shouted: 'I am ... I am ... I am ... Miguel Gutierrez.'

But that's the whole point of the show, and thank heavens the artist is a sufficiently interesting character to keep us engaged in his in-your-face self-expressions. The homoerotic piece in which he sang Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights with a candle quietly burning under his bottom was weird but quite amusing.

Gutierrez said this performance aimed to seduce and repulse his audience.

He has succeeded in both.