When Hofesh Shechter met Antony Gormley

The Barbican ****

It’s rather tricky to describe the latest smash success and brainchild of Hofesh Shechter, the astonishingly talented Israeli choreographer. It had a bit of dance in it, a lot of collective shuffling, and the involvement of artist Antony Gormley. More importantly, it was loud (ear plugs were doled out to the audience before entering the auditorium).

Loud in a good way. Survivor bore Shechter’s trademark surging, primal beats – so staggering in his 2010 major dance work, Political Mother. A band of 30 live musicians – sometimes more – presided throughout from a huge raised platform. Shechter’s music was “set within” a “visual landscape” by Gormley. This landscape included such features as grey balls rolling on and off stage and a bathtub into which a man crawls with a video camera projecting his view (and breathy whimpers) to the audience. At one point, a (live) man is raised by rope and dangled before a video of a surging waterfall. Brilliant, actually. Don’t miss his next outing. Hofesh Shechter’s The Art of Not Looking Back is at Sadler’s Wells 2 and 3 Feb. www.sadlerswells.com